Inside Ricky Martin's Relationship With Jwan Yosef

The following article includes brief mentions of domestic abuse allegations.

Ricky Martin is an international pop superstar. He's been a major player in the entertainment business since his early days of performing with the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo back in the '80s, and over the several decades since, Martin has expanded his talents to the acting realm, humanitarian efforts, and human rights advocacy. The world knows this multi-talented icon for his swoon-worthy hip shakes, hit songs like "Livin' La Vida Loca" and "She Bangs," and his devastatingly good looks — while we're willing to bet his skincare routine helps Martin keep a healthy glow with every passing year, he once told the press (via OK! News) that his agelessness might have more to do with the following: "Love, acceptance, friends, [four] kids that I love and that I have to take care of myself for them. I love what I do. I think that's important."

All that said, the Grammy-winning and Emmy-nominated star's best friend and husband, artist Jwan Yosef, knows him for his loving heart, goofy personality, and pure devotion to their growing family. Ever since meeting by chance and falling in love immediately, the couple have been living their very own version of a modern storybook fairytale. While this pair does their darndest to keep the vast majority of their personal life on the low, the aspects they divulge to the adoring public are sweet, honest, and real — which only make us love this showbiz power couple that much more.

Let's take a look inside Ricky Martin's relationship with Jwan Yosef.

Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef met on Instagram

It was Jwan Yosef's art that first caught Ricky Martin's eye, rather than the handsome Syrian-born Swedish artist behind the work. Martin, an avid art lover, saw one of his future husband's beautiful paintings while scrolling through Instagram — and of course, after noticing the artwork, he couldn't help but notice the striking man behind the masterpieces themselves. "And then I wrote to him," Martin told Andy Cohen on SiriusXM's "Radio Andy" in 2017. Yup, the international superstar slid into Yosef's DMs ... a tale as old as time. However, they kept things on a platonic level for a while, as Martin went on to quip, "We were talking for like six months without me hearing his voice. ... We talked about art, nothing sexy."

Fast forward through those six months of text chats, these two finally met in person for the first time in London, where Yosef — who's 12 years Martin's junior — was living at the time. "When I got out of the car, and I saw him, I said, 'Whoa. ... Wait a minute, I think this is the man of my life, and I think I am going to marry him,'" Martin revealed with a chuckle in his 2021 "Behind the Music" episode. It turns out Yosef felt the very same, per People. "I call him the witchcraft," Martin went on to note of his man on "Behind the Music. "Because I felt the spell, and then I was in his arms." Cue a chorus of awws.

The singer announced their engagement on TV

After staying mum about his sexuality amid years of speculation — most memorably in an infamous 2000 interview with Barbara Walters, in which she uncomfortably pressed him on the matter through intrusive questioning — Ricky Martin publicly came out as a gay man on his own terms and in his own time in 2010. It was actually fatherhood that served as a catalyst to the star sharing his truth with the world. "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am," Martin, who'd welcomed twin sons Matteo and Valentino two years prior, wrote in part in a since-removed blog post (via The Guardian). 

From then on, Martin decided that his personal life was nothing to feel ashamed of or hide, and he took that mantra forward when announcing his engagement to Jwan Yosef. "I proposed. I was really nervous, but I got on my knees, and I took out the little — not a box, I just had them in a little velvet pouch — and instead of saying, 'Would you marry me?' I said, 'I got you something!' Bad," Martin revealed with a laugh in front of a live audience and millions of home viewers when appearing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in November 2016. "And then he was like, 'Yes?' I said, 'I want to spend my life with you.' And he was like, 'What is the question?'" 

Martin, of course, did eventually get around to those four life-changing words, and the rest is history.

Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef are both incredibly creative

When it comes to their artistic endeavors, this couple's mediums might differ, but make no mistake — both Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef are incredibly talented and creative beings in their own right. Martin, of course, is a multi-faceted entertainer whose preferred artistic tool is his voice, whether it's belting out music or acting. "Music will always be there," he told The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast in 2018. "But I also believe that I am a storyteller, and if I have the opportunity to be surrounded by an amazing group of people — directors, producers and actors — and we can tell a story that can be of impact for the world, I am going to commit to it."

Yosef, meanwhile, works in the visual arts, using his hands and brain to compile exquisite works that serve as feasts for the eyes. As previously mentioned, it was the couple's shared enthusiasm for the arts that brought them together. But what they also share in common is that both have been at their respective crafts since childhood. While a teenage Martin rose to pop sensation fame with Menudo, his husband has also began painting as a young boy. 

"In many ways painting or making art was always something close to me," Yosef explained to Kaltblut in 2014. "Being an artist is not only making art but also evolving close relations with people in that environment." While this felt like a natural fit, he added, "It was a process that took years of work to accept myself as an artist."

These two are proud parents to four beautiful children

International superstar and accomplished artist...check. In love and married...check. Fathers of twins plus some...check. Yup, Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef truly seem to have it all! As previously mentioned, Martin welcomed twins Matteo and Valentino via surrogate back in 2008, so when he and Yosef married years later, they became an adorable family of four. However, the couple wasted no time in expanding their brood, going on to welcome daughter Lucia and son Renn into the fold in 2018 and 2019, respectively. 

As Martin explained to People magazine in 2021, the younger children being so close in age can prove to be a challenge at times. "We're dealing with a pair of twins and a pair of Irish twins, because Lucia and Renn are only nine months apart. It's a bit overwhelming, but we're strong and healthy, and we're ready." The singer-actor had previously disclosed to ET that the pair weren't expecting any more kiddos, but shared, "Some people think I'm crazy, but I love a big family, and I have a couple of embryos waiting for me. I don't know. That's all I got to say."

Whether or not we see more Yosef-Martin babies in the future, Martin told Out, "I want people to look at me and see a family and say, 'There's nothing wrong with that.' It's part of my mission." He added, "My kids ask me about having two daddies, and I tell them we are a part of a modern family. This is a beautiful sense of freedom."

The Martin-Yosef family splits time between several countries

Ricky Martin and his husband, Jwan Yosef, have an impressive real estate portfolio. They own a stunning seven-bedroom mansion in Beverly Hills, California, and an incredible pad in Puerto Rico. The family also owns a two-unit combination condominium in New York's Upper East Side, perfect for travel to the East Coast (though it was listed on the market for $7.1 million back in 2017). With the singer-actor's massive net worth of an estimated $130 million, he and his family can clearly afford these luxurious worldwide digs.

While the family of six make it a point to have roots all over the world, the older kids also enjoy the touring life. Twins Matteo and Valentino have been hitting the road with their famous father since they were four years old, and it seems like these days they are craving more travel, as Martin revealed to ET in 2021. "The big ones are telling me, 'Come on, Dad. When are we going on the road? We've got to do this,'" he explained. "... They love being on the road."

Regardless of whether the Martin-Yosef gang is taking to the streets of the Big Apple, basking in the sun and surf of Puerto Rico, enjoying the West Coast life, or livin' la vida loca on the road, Martin told Architectural Digest in 2018, "Our kids are stable when we are together. Wherever we happen to be, that's home."

Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef wed in secret

In January 2018, Ricky Martin announced that he and Jwan Yosef had pulled the trigger and gotten hitched in secret. "We exchanged vows ... and we've signed all the papers that we needed to sign, prenups and everything," he gushed to E! News. "It feels amazing! ... He's my husband, he's my man."

Martin later shed some more light on how the couple's spontaneous nuptials went down during a 2020 appearance on Mexico's "Ventaneando" (via Hola!). "It just so happened that my parents were here in Los Angeles, and his parents were as well, so I said, 'We have no other reason to wait, call the judge!' It was super improvised," he revealed. The wedding was, in fact, so spur-of-the-moment that Martin claimed he and his groom didn't even know what they would wear some 30 minutes before they said, "I do."

Martin would go on to express in multiple interviews, including an appearance on "Live with Kelly and Ryan," the officially wed couple's desire for wedding day 2.0, this time with a big, loud, and beautiful ceremony held for their family and friends. Reflecting on the importance of showing off their modern blended family, Martin added on "Ventaneando," "The twins were there, but I believe that Renn and Lucía need to be part of this celebration as well." No word on whether this massive celebration has taken place, as of this writing.

Their relationship struggled after the birth of their daughter

Ricky Martin had long been a proud dad to his twin sons by the time he met and fell in love with his future husband, Jwan Yosef. Thus, when the pair welcomed their little girl, Lucia, into the world in 2018, fatherhood wasn't exactly new to Martin. But with her arrival came a new wave of feelings, adjustments, and struggles for which neither he nor Yosef were prepared, with an admittedly overbearing Martin struggling to share the responsibilities of parenthood with then-new dad Yosef.

In 2020, Martin revealed the details of this sudden change in his behavior impacted the couple's relationship on Univision's "El Break de las 7" (via Hola!), saying, "I had problems with my husband because he would say, 'Let me change her,' and I would say, 'No! I'm going to change her.'" He went on to explain how he felt such a strong desire to shield his little girl, whom he referred to as "the light in my eyes," from everything and everyone, and added, "I didn't let anyone touch her for months."

Thankfully, all of these emotions have since settled, and Martin no longer plays the role of bodyguard to his darling daughter. These days, she is surrounded by her two doting fathers, three brothers, and lots of female love and support from Martin's friends, sisters, and mother.

Wait, who runs Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef's household?

Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef are clearly both dedicated to their respective careers and to their growing family, but when it comes to the Yosef-Martin household, these two aren't totally the ones in charge. In fact, as Martin himself explained to ET in 2020, "It's not [the twins'] house either, it's the girl's house. It's Lucia's house, she runs the house. She doesn't snap fingers yet but in the eyes, you can tell she's like 'No.'" He added, "She's only 2, by the way."

Yep, Lucia runs a tight ship, it seems, with Martin sharing an adorably humorous anecdote about little Lucia with the same outlet the following year. "She loves CoComelon, so I'm singing with her and CoComelon, and she goes, 'No no, Daddy. No. Stop. Stop, stop, stop.' And I'm like, 'Let me sing. I want to sing.' [She said,] 'No no, Daddy. No no,'" he said, jokingly adding, "This is serious business. She doesn't let me sing."

What is that they say of women? The man is the head of the household, but the woman is the neck that turns the head? Sounds about right in regard to Martin and Yosef's home.

Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef have weathered legal storms

For the most part, Ricky Martin and his husband, Jwan Yosef, have managed to sidestep scandal and live a fairly idyllic life along with their four children. However, in June 2022, the couple found themselves faced with legal woes amid some serious allegations against Martin. The singer-actor was first hit with a $3 million lawsuit by former manager Rebecca Drucker, per Deadline, who claimed in legal docs that she'd "fiercely protected" him from "a potentially career-ending allegation in September 2020." In addition to accusing the star of owing millions in financial compensation, she also alleged that Martin had "threatened Rebecca and is attempting to force her to sign an agreement with a nondisclosure clause to silence Rebecca about the abhorrent behavior by Martin that she has both witnessed and endured."

Soon after, Martin faced a restraining order in Puerto Rico stemming from domestic abuse allegations. According to AP News, which cited the publication El Vocero, the accuser in question (whose name was being withheld from the public) alleged that Martin had resorted to stalking him after they ended their seven-month relationship two months prior. As of this writing, Martin has vehemently denied the claims on Twitter. Meanwhile, his reps called the allegations "completely false and fabricated," noting (via AP News), "We are very confident that when the true facts come out in this matter, our client Ricky Martin will be fully vindicated." 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.