06/08/2018 06:12 pm ET

For 'American Crime Story,' Ricky Martin Thought About His Own Life In The Closet

"I felt so bad for the men that were not in the closet that were hiding because of me."

Playing Antonio D’Amico, the longtime partner of designer Gianni Versace, had a deeply personal resonance for Ricky Martin, the singer said Thursday. 

D’Amico, an Italian-born model and fashion designer, met Versace in 1982. The two men enjoyed a relationship for many years, but Versace didn’t publicly acknowledge his sexuality or his relationship with D’Amico until an Advocate interview published two years before his death in 1997. 

To play D’Amico on FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” Martin said he tried to imagine what life was like for the men he’d dated before publicly coming out. 

“It was very important to let the world know that someone as powerful as Gianni Versace was in so much fear of coming out, and people around him were telling him, ‘Please don’t do that. That would be the end of your career,’” Martin told HuffPost at the Build Series, which is owned by Oath, HuffPost’s parent company. “That happened to me.”

As Martin prepared to shoot the scene in which Versace (played by Édgar Ramírez) first references D’Amico as his partner, he said he thought back on his life in the closet. 

“I started wearing the shoes of my ex-boyfriends, men that were with me while I was in the closet,” he said. “I saw both sides of the spectrum.”  

“I was reliving everything, and I felt so bad for the men that were not in the closet that were hiding because of me and went back to the closet because they wanted to be with me,” Martin added.  

The Latin pop superstar, who came out as gay in 2010 and recently wed artist Jwan Yosef, said he’s proud to visit nations in the Middle East and Latin America that have limited rights for LGBTQ people and bring his inclusive message to audiences there. 

He then quipped, “Damn, I wish I could come out again because it felt so good. It felt so amazing!” 

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