Erik Menendez describes the events leading up to the brutal murders of his parents, Kitty and Jose Menendez, in his first interview since 2005, revealing what was going through his and his brother Lyle's heads before the killings.
While Lyle has been on a mini-media frenzy all year, Erik has remained silent for over 10 years. He'll share his side of the story in A&E's new documentary series "The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All," premiering Thursday night. In an exclusive preview at the first two hours, Erik details an alleged fight he witnessed between his mother and Lyle, as well as a conversation the two brothers had about the alleged molestation Erik says he suffered at the hands of their father.
"I remember it was Tuesday and I was coming in the front door of the house and mom and Lyle were coming out of the study and mom was screaming," Erik explains, speaking from a phone inside the walls of Donovan Correctional Facility. "They were in an argument and Lyle was saying that he needed it and it was important and mom in a rage said, 'You don't ned your effing hair piece!' and she reached up and she ripped his hair off his head. I remember just being stunned by what happened."
In old court testimony, Lyle explained that the alleged incident left him "completely embarrassed." "[Erik] didn't know I had a hair piece," he said. "My brother and I, there are things we don't talk about and that was one of them."
"I told him not to worry about it, that he was my brother, that I loved him, basically saying I don't judge you," Erik continues, before detailing how the conversation then changed to another, darker topic.
"I asked him, 'Do you remember when I was a kid, you asked me if anything was happening between me and dad?' I said, 'Lyle, it's still happening,'" says Erik. "He was like, 'What do you mean?' 'Still happening, just sexual things.' He got suddenly really upset. Saying how could I let that happen, did I enjoy it, why didn't I tell anyone, why didn't I stop it. I was crying and I started having a small panic attack."
Erik says his brother then asked if their mother knew about the abuse. "I said 'no,' [but] he said, 'No, I think she does. I think mom knows."
The Menendez Brothers brutally murdered their parents in 1989 with two 12-gauge shotguns and later testified that their father sexually abused them. Both are currently serving life sentences, but reportedly play chess through the mail and have "almost never talked" to each other about the murders in the years since.
"My only hope in speaking out is that people may have a more complete understanding. A more complete understanding of the events that led up to my actions on the night of August 20th, and really a fuller picture of what really happened in my life," Erik added in the A&E press release. "All I can hope for is that people will come to realize that the truth is not a simple, one-line explanation that many people have tried to make it out to be. That really, that my life was this unfolding of a complicated life that I lived had all of these things that came into being and that led up to my involvement and responsibility for what is an ongoing and enduring family tragedy."
"The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All" debuts Thursday, November 30 at 10PM ET/PT on A&E.