Cousin of the notorious Menendez brothers speaks out about molestation claims

By: Elizabeth Keatinge

A cousin of the Menendez brothers is shedding new light on the infamous Beverly Hills murder case.

The brothers were accused of brutally killing their parents, Jose and Kitty, in 1989.

A cousin of Lyle and Erik, who were 18 and 21 at the time of the murders, tells ABC News that the brothers' claims that their father was molesting them was something they had shared with her.

Look back at this notorious case:

14 PHOTOS
The Menendez brothers, jailed for murder of parents
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The Menendez brothers, jailed for murder of parents
Erik Menendez (R) and brother Lyle listen to court proceedings during a May 17, 1991 appearance in the case of the shotgun murder of their wealthy parents in August 1989. The California Supreme Court must decide whether to review a lower court decision to allow alleged tape confessions made to a psychiatrist as evidence before a preliminary hearing can take place. REUTERS/Lee Celano
Erik Menendez looks back into the courtroom during a break in the murder trial, August 16 after the prosecution rested its case against him. Erik and his brother Lylem are accused of killing their parents for the inheritance
Defendant Lyle Menendez glances back during a court session August 20, 1993. Menendez and his brother Erik are on trial for the shotgun murders of their parents in 1989. REUTERS/Lee Celano
Lyle Menendez, one of two brothers on trial for the shotgun murder of their wealthy parents, breaks down in tears September 10, 1993 as he recalls incidents of sexual abuse by his father during court testimony. At left are photographs, some showing the genitals of Lyle and brother Erik as children, which the defense claims their father took. Reuters/Lee Celano
Defendant Lyle Menendez wipes his eyes September 10, 1993 as he testifies in a Van Nuys, California courtroom in his defense in the shooting of his parents Lyle and Kitty Menendez. Lyle and brother Erik have admitted to shooting their parents in reaction to years of alleged abuse. REUTERS/Lee Celano
Erik Menendez testifies under cross examination by Deputy District Attorney Lester Kuriyama during a court session October 1, 1993. Kuriyama questioned Menendez's truthfulness in the questioning of the defendant. Menendez and his brother Lyle are on trial for the shotgun murder of their parents. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich
Erik Menendez, one of two brothers accused in the shotgun murder of their wealthy parents, sits silently after a judge refused to pay for his private lawyer to represent him in his retrial March 9, 1994. Menendez pleaded to judge Cecil Mills for public funds to pay for Leslie Abramson, who represented him in his previous trial. That trial resulted in hung juries for both Erik and older brother Lyle. REUTERS/Pool/ Nick Ut
Erik Menendez sits in court July 22 listening to preliminary hearing in his and brother Lyle's murder case, with his attorney Leslie Abrahmson (r). The Menendez brothers both received mistrials in the shotgun killings of their parents Jose and Kitty Menendez in their first trial
Lyle Menendez (R), one of two brothers on trial for the slaying of their wealthy parents, confers with public defender Terri Towery during an October 27, 1994 hearing. Menendez was expected to request the reappointment of his former defense lawyer, Jill Lansing. Reuters/Fred Prouser
Accused murderer Erik Menendez pauses while giving his testimony December 12, 1995, after describing how he and his brother Lyle killed their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in 1989. Erik Menendez testified he was motivated by years of sexual abuse by his father, and the fear that his parents were going to kill him. Lee Celano/Pool/REUTERS
Double murder defendant Erik Menendez mouths the words "I Love You" to his grandmother in the audience as he and brother Lyle are declared guilty of first degree murder with special circumstances in the second trial of the 1989 shotgun slayings of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, March 20. The brothers could face the death penalty for the killings. MENENDEZ
Defense attorney Barry Levine (L) pats the back of double murder defendant Erik Menendez (C) while attorney Leslie Abrahmson (R) listens as Erik and Lyle are declared guilty of first degree murder with special circumstances, March 20 in the second trial of the 1989 shotgun slayings of their parents Jose and Kitty Menendez. The brothers could face the death penalty for the killings. MENENDEZ
Undated file combo image of brothers Erik (L) and Lyle Menendez who were convicted March 20, 1996 of the first degree murder of their wealthy Beverly Hills parents. The brothers were sentenced to life imprisonment. REUTERS/HO SN
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Diane Vander Molen alleges when she was spending the summer with the boys in 1976, Lyle, then just 8 years old, told her he feared sleeping in his own bed because his father was touching him inappropriately.

"I know that they would never, ever have done what they did unless they felt that they had no choice," Vander Molen told ABC News.

The brothers' molestation claims were central in the sensational 1993 trial. They stand by these claims more than two decades later.

The pair was convicted of shooting and killing their parents in a second trial in 1996, and each are serving two consecutive life sentences.

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