Latino media grapples with how to cover the Nury Martinez scandal
By Jennifer Schlueter
1 November 2018
Nury Martinez’s career has been a series of public embarrassments. But none has been as damaging to his career as the allegations that his son, Alex, was raped by a former girlfriend, Michelle Carter. The allegations have been published in a series of articles by the tabloid website TMZ, along with photos and excerpts of transcripts, according to legal documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle. The scandal has led to outrage from liberals and the usual suspects of the GOP-media alliance, who are calling for Martinez and others in the entertainment industry to be tarred and feathered.
The articles have raised questions about how the media should cover celebrity sexual abuse cases. One of the most important questions relates to the issue of journalistic ethics. As the case of Nury Martinez illustrates, the questions surrounding the ethical responsibility of the media are far more complicated than the simple “right” or “wrong” questions that are on voters’ minds.
Martinez’s career began with his being nominated for a Golden Globe for playing a homeless person in the movie “Glorify The Meek.” He went on to produce and star in film after film, and won the most prestigious award an actor can win—the Oscar—for “The Secret in Their Eyes.” Martinez’s career has been celebrated in Hollywood circles for having been the “great white hope” of young American actors.
The problems that have plagued him began when he had a relationship with his on-and-off girlfriend Michelle Carter in 2010. The two had been on and off for several years—including being boyfriend and girlfriend at one time—when the relationship finally ended. The two had what can only be described as an open love affair, and Martinez would go on to say that their relationship was “truly a life-changing moment.”
In addition to his career, Martinez has been married and divorced twice. He also has two children—a daughter and a son.
According to what Martinez told his family in an interview, Carter first accused him of raping her when