In a foreshadowing of today's American Idol instant-celebrity machine, international superstar Gloria Trevi and her producer-boyfriend Sergio Andrade started a first-of-its-kind talent school for young girls in search of their own chance at the big time. Recruited from the most fervent fans at Gloria's sold-out concerts, teenagers from across Latin America began showing up at her house in Mexico City. Their numbers grew along with Gloria's fame, as hit record followed hit record and Gloria became one of Latin America's top TV and movie attractions. But after a few years, bizarre rumors slowly began to spread that the school was actually a front for a sex-slave operation, which tortured and brainwashed the very girls who, more than anything, wanted to be just like their idol, Gloria Trevi. But how could this happen-and with the world watching? Was Gloria Trevi involved, or was she simply at the mercy of her brilliant manager? In the first-ever levelheaded look at this scandalous story, award-winning journalist Christopher McDougall recounts how Gloria Trevi went from obscurity to world fame to eluding authorities for two years, before her final discovery and capture in Brazil.
In what is considered the oddest twist to an already convoluted tale, Trevi found herself mysteriously pregnant in prison, prompting allegations by Brazilian authorities of an impregnation scheme involving Trevi and a notorious Brazilian gangster. Only later would the shocking truth of the baby's paternity emerge. Gloria has since been extradited to her native Mexico, where she faced what was that country's "trial of the century." Through exclusive behind-bars interviews with both Trevi and Andrade, as well as with the girls who have slowly come forward with their accusations, McDougall reveals the stranger-than-fiction twists in this remarkable tale and offers readers an insider's look at Sergio Andrade's peculiar personal history and how a superstar's celebrity power can control a young girl's mind.
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About the Author
Christopher McDougall writes regularly for Esquire, Men's Health, and Bicycling magazines, and first covered the Gloria Trevi saga for the New York Times Magazine in 2002. He won the Clarion Award in 2002 and became fluent in Spanish and Portuguese as an overseas correspondent for the Associated Press, spending months in Africa reporting on the massacres in Rwanda and frontline fighting in Angola. His articles have also been featured in GQ, Men's Journal, and Inc. magazines.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of the most sensational true-crime books I have ever read, and one reason I loved it is because it's not sensationalized. Christopher McDougall makes Gloria Trevi appear so true to life, and then peels back the layers of her on-stage persona to reveal the troubled, scary, cunning woman beneath. His characterization of the arch mastermind, Sergio Andrade, is amazing: you can't believe that a guy like that could rise to such power and remain free for so long, yet McDougall does a masterful job of showing exactly how Andrade DID get away with his secret girl-group sex cult for so long. If you're looking for a window into the dark corners of show business, sexual perversion or the perversions of wealth and power, this is it.