Barry Gibb was one-third of the mega-popular disco-era group the Bee Gees. According to Rolling Stone, only musical legends like Elvis, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, and Paul McCartney had sold more records when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In addition, Rolling Stone reported that the Bee Gees is the only group to have ever “written, recorded and produced six consecutive number one hits.”
In other words, as fellow Bee Gees member and brother Maurice Gibb said:
“We weren’t on the charts, we were the charts.”
But out of the thousands and thousands of interviews the group — who were all brothers — gave, one subject was never touched on until now: Barry’s abuse.
According to the Guardian, the 70-year-old finally opened up about the incident in a recent interview with the Radio Times — but not without major hesitation:
“I’ve never said this before; Jesus Christ, should I be saying it now?”
Despite his second thoughts, Gibb revealed that when he was just a child, an anonymous man attempted to sexually abuse him (emphasis added):
“There was a moment in time when a man tried to molest me when I was about 4 years old. He didn’t touch me, but other things happened, and happened to other kids.”
Although it’s unclear who the man was, Gibb noted that the man was eventually arrested:
“Four years old and a policeman on your bed at four in the morning, interviewing you. If that doesn’t teach you about life, nothing does. But it’s vivid for me still. I’ve never told anybody.”
When asked whether the incident happened at his home, he responded:
“Those details would be unpalatable.”
The sexual abuse of a child can result in many longterm issues for the victim. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, some of those longterm effects are anxiety-related, self-destructive behaviors like alcoholism or drug abuse, anxiety attacks, and insomnia.
In addition, victims might also feel a strong sense of shame, leading them to hide the incident from others rather than seek help.
And although Gibb said he was never actually molested, it’s clear that the memory of that incident has impacted him ever since.
Gibb, who is now the last living member of the Bee Gees, is set to perform at the Glastonbury festival alongside Coldplay. After losing both of his brothers — who were twins — and his father by 2014, he told Rolling Stone that his job is now to “keep this music alive” for them.
Correction: Previously, this story inaccurately stated that Barry Gibbs had a twin brother. In actuality, Maurice and Robin Gibb were twins. We regret the error.