I’ll admit it: as a middle-of-the-pack millennial, I know nearly nothing about the Menendez brothers murder case. I wasn’t alive when the California siblings gunned their parents down with shotguns in 1989 and I would turn 4 only months after they were finally convicted of murder in March 1996. At that point, my parents were too busy taking me to see All Dogs Go To Heaven 2 to talk to me about high-profile patricide.
So, I had no idea sexual assault would live at the heart of Lifetime's Menendez: Blood Brothers. It was obvious something nefarious was going on the moment rich family patriarch Jose Menendez (Benito Martinez) slides out of bed, leaving his wife Kitty Menendez (Courtney Love) alone in the dark. When evidence of actual sexual abuse goes down between Jose and his younger son Erik (Myko Olivier) I was legitimately shocked. Blood Brothers becomes even worse when older son Lyle Menendez (Nico Tortorella) reveals he was also abused as a child. The only answer to such a disturbing surprise was to Google whether all of this trauma was real or a gossipy dramatisation of the case for the sake of a Lifetime movie.
Of course, the abuse allegations proved to be the cornerstone of the Menendez brothers’ defence throughout their iconic murder trial. If you’re like me and didn’t know the extent of the Menendez family's alleged abuse — or you’re just a little fuzzy on the details — it’s time to hear it straight from the brothers’ mouths. Scroll through the gallery to see everything the real-life Lyle and Erik Menendez have said over the years about their parents’ reported abuse.