Lyle and Erik Menendez both endured sexual abuse and rape from their father, who sometimes used objects to cause pain, like a toothbrush or shaving brush (via ABC News). As young as age 6, Lyle testified, his father would hide away in the bathroom to sexually abuse him. The abuse escalated over time, as José instead began to abuse Erik in the same way, while also jabbing him with pins, or threatening him with a knife if he refused to cooperate. Lyle blamed his mother for letting him and Erik remain in an abusive household for so long.

When he was 8 years old, Lyle actually told his 17-year-old cousin about his father’s sexual abuse. He said he was scared to sleep alone in his own bed, knowing his father would molest him, and asked to sleep in the room with her. Alarmed, she relayed the information to Kitty. Kitty just took Lyle away from his cousin, and the family didn’t speak of the incident again.

Even by the time Lyle was 15 years old and Erik was 12, both of them would frequently sleep in bed with Kitty to try and avoid their father. But Lyle later testified under oath that he touched Kitty while in bed with her. Investigation Discovery reports that Kitty apparently also touched Lyle inappropriately while he was bathing.

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