Ricky Martin wishes he didn't waste so much time in the closet before coming out publicly as gay.
The 'Assassination of Gianni Versace' actor announced to the world he was a homosexual man in March 2010 in an emotional post on his official website ending years of speculation about his sexuality.
Ricky, 46, had told his family and close friends he was gay years earlier but had resisted telling his fans on advice from his inner circle who believed it could hurt his pop career because he had been marketed as a Latin heartthrob due to his Puerto Rican heritage.
Following the positive response to his coming out, the 'Livin' la Vida Loca' hitmaker now wishes he hadn't spent so much time hiding who really was from his fans.
Speaking to the latest issue of Gay Times magazine, he said: "The amount of love I got when I came out was brilliant ... The thing is if I had spent one third of the time that I spent manipulating my sexuality in front of the piano instead, I would be a concert pianist by now. It's not fair and I hope no one has to go through that again."
Recalling the ludicrous situation he found himself in, Ricky recalled: "I had come out to my friends and family. But everyone was like, 'Don't do it in public because that will be the end of your career.' You live with that fear, you've worked so hard to get where you have, but can't be yourself ... And then I came out and it was amazing. A lot of people say, 'Well, if you had come out back then, maybe it would have ruined your career,' but I don't think so."
Ricky - who is now married to husband Jwan Yosef and raises nine-year-old twins Matteo and Valentino - now tries to help younger stars at the beginning of their careers to come out, if they come to him for advice.
He said: "I just share my testimony with them and talk about my fears and the moments when I had no self-esteem whatsoever, and yes, they eventually come out."