Mackenzie Phillips on 'Oprah': 'Someone needs to put a face on consensual and non-consensual incest.'

Mackenzie-Phillips-Oprah_lToday’s Oprah Winfrey interview with Mackenzie Phillips — in which the One Day at a Time actress discussed being raped by (and later going on to have a 10-year-long, consensual sexual relationship with) her father, Mamas and the Papas singer John Phillips — raised a lot of difficult, disturbing questions. On some visceral level, the one resonating loudest in my mind is where do we draw the line between a celebrity offering a cathartic confessional — sharing a past trauma that might help Joe or Jane Everyman cope with their own personal demons — versus the morally murky process of writing and marketing a memoir with the ultimate goal of winding up on the best-seller list.

Because make no mistake, regardless of whatever public-service value the Oprah appearance provided, one definitive goal of the gig was to move copies of Phillips’ new memoir, High on Arrival, which not coincidentally hit store shelves today. I lost count of how many times the book title got repeated during the one-hour telecast, but I’m pretty sure it reached double-digits. And that’s why even though Phillips was insisting the road to her revelations was paved with the best intentions — “I had to tell this story for me,” she explained, adding that “someone has to put a face on consensual and non-consensual incest” — I couldn’t shake the thought that ultimately, said storytelling was linked to a product that’s selling for $20.99 right this second at Borders.com.

For her part, Oprah handled the bulk of the Q&A with the perfect balance of sympathy and toughness, sweetly making sure Phillips had a tissue when she needed it, but not shying away from tough questions that needed asking. “Who’s gonna call us up the next morning and say you’re a liar?” Oprah asked, noting Phillips’ famous father had passed away in 2001. Oprah also chose to confront the incest accusations at the start of the interview, seemingly to Phillips’ surprise, and got the actress to read from infamous Page 108 of her memoir, about waking up from a drug-induced blackout to discover her father was raping her: “Your father is supposed to protect you. Your father is supposed to protect you, not f*** you,” Phillips said, in what had to be the most chilling part of the interview.

Oprah also pushed Phillips about the fact that by the age of 29, when her sexual relationship with her dad had become consensual, she must have been “very much aware” it was wrong. She also pointedly asked the actress, who said she’s been sober for almost a year, “Who’s to say you’re gonna stay clean?” I would’ve also liked Oprah to ask Phillips why she waited till now to very publicly reveal her disturbing past, and what (if anything) she’s done beyond writing a memoir for profit to help support or connect with the “community” of incest survivors she said she is concerned about.

Two other aspects of the interview made me skittish as well. First was Phillips’ blase telling of how she was seduced by Mick Jagger when she was 18 — “I’ve been waiting for this since you were 10 years old,” the Rolling Stones singer allegedly said to her before they locked themselves into a bedroom while Mackenzie’s father banged on the door and tried to stop them. The way Phillips ended her tale — “That’s my Mick Jagger story!” — was delivered more like a cocktail-party laugh-getter than a serious revelation about her troubled teenage years. And, perhaps worse, there were moments of the interview that seemed designed to promote Oprah and her many brand extensions, including at least four mentions of the fact that Phillips was on her way to the Oprah-produced Rachael Ray Show when she was arrested for heroin possession last year. What’s more, when Oprah brought Phillips’ former costar (and current Rachael Ray Show contributor) Valerie Bertinelli onto the stage in a show of support, and Phillips thanked Oprah profusely, the powerful talk show host raised her arms in triumph and shouted: “I’m so glad!” Yes, Oprah, Mackenzie Phillips couldn’t have done it without you. Whether “it” is bravely confronting a social taboo for the greater good or reaching several million potential memoir readers, well, I leave that up to you down in the comments section below. (And if you want to follow my pop-culture thoughts on Twitter, by all means do…@EWMichaelSlezak!)

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  • chichi

    “I would’ve also liked Oprah to ask Phillips why she waited till now to reveal her disturbing past”

    This disgusts me. How dare you, or anyone, put a time stamp on someone’s emotional stability during trauma. A person’s coping mechanism entails a lot of things, and for some it can be regressed or withheld for their own mental and emotional stability.

    • JennBell

      It’s the nature of the skeptical to ask “why now and not before” when there is financial gain to be had in the “now”. I thought the exact same thing as Slezak.

      • info only

        me too to be honest.. the timing seems very planned. I am a fan of Mackenzie’s and this all takes me by complete surprise, on the other hand it would explain her troubles with alcohol and drugs. It’s difficult to be the victim of these types of crimes and can haunt you for years. It can also be really tough to separate right and wrong and feel so much blame yourself. So, while I wondered why she would be promoting her book while making this confession, I feel for her if it’s true.

      • Shel

        What financial gain was to be had in the “now” as you say versus 6 years ago or 6 years from now? Telling this story would have always had a component of financial gain to it. I really sincerely don’t understand how it is somehow suspicious that she “waited this long.” How about it might have taken quite awhile to journey along the road she was on before she *could* tell it? Sheesh.

      • JennBell

        If she had come forward about this 6 years ago, or 6 years from now, and had NOT written a book at the same time, I would think differently about what I perceive are her intentions to tell her story just to earn a buck. Heck, if she had written the book and not done the media circuit to promote it, I would also think differently.

    • Mandy

      I agree. She struggled with drug addictions most of her life. Maybe now that she has been sober for almost a year, she is able to see things clearly and deal with her trauma. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to cope with this. I guess a lot of people are too jaded to realize this stuff happens all the time and people deal in their own ways. This is her way. Seems fitting to me.

      • gigi

        of course it does, you want to be entertained.

      • info only

        thank you for this! It’s true, it does happen all the time! I cannot tell you how many friends I have had that have molestation, rape or date rape stories. Probably 4 out of every 5 of my girl friends have stories of abuse. Again, I feel for her.

      • Mandy

        It’s not about me wanting to be entertained. I was born in the 80s. I have no idea who her father was, and I have only heard of Mackenzie. I’m not entertained at all. It seems fitting as she is somewhat of a celebrity and celebs do most things out in the public eye.

    • Shocked

      As any victim knows, waiting years is not unusual. As the adult survivor of sexual abuse as a child when I was 10 (not by a family member, but a family friend) I didn’t tell anyone until I was 38 years old. 3 in 5 women are survivors of abuse, 2 in 5 men are survivors; those are actual statistics and the majority never tell for this reason; people will blame them, say they wanted it, say they are lying. So many comments attack her. If the first time she woke up from a blackout and he was on top of her that is rape, there is no other way to define it. Rape is not sex it is an act of violence perpetrated on an unwilling person. What happened afterwards who knows but if the first time was as she said she was raped and we should not be making her feel guilty for what was done to her.

      • Josie

        Yes, but her sister Chynna has come out and said that Mackenzie told her this ten years ago. If she could say it then why did she wait until now to say this in a public forum.

      • GB

        Because, Josie, speaking about sexual abuse to someone you’re close to as opposed to every other person on the planet is something VERY different.

      • Suze

        Thank you! I did not remember being molested at 3 years old by a male babysitter until I was in therapy for anxiety attacks when I was 28. Also, my cousin and I were both molested by an “old family friend” when we were 8 and 11 years old. We have NEVER talked about it. It was degrading, we felt dirty, bad, and nasty, and silence is the way we hid our misplaced guilt. In the 60′s era we were taught to obey and respect any adults our parents put in charge of us. Gee, I’m over 50 now, so why am I just now posting about this over 40 years later?
        Also, as far as Mackensie is concerned, when you begin drug abuse at age 11 at the hands of your father, how much rational thought can you develop about what is right or wrong? She didn’t grow up in middle class suburbia, where everyone is safe and life is always normal, like I did (sarcasm intended).

    • Marylynn

      I also thought the same thing. I feel sorry for what she went through. The whole interview I was wondering why she was really doing it. Does anyone even really want to read this horrible book?

      • MRT

        Yeah, i can’t imagine anyone that would want to read about it! But she probably just now talking about it cuz her dad was famous and didn’t want to ‘tarnish’ him. So very sad….can’t even fatham such a thing!

    • Sally in Chicago

      Me too. Ditto Slezak. And 10 years? That’s a long time to be in a drug-induced affair with your father. And as for Mick Jagger…well, he’s been with just about everybody so that’s not a surprise…but yeh, this whole situation is to make money and move books. She has nothing else going for her. Except welfare?

      • rory

        It’s clear you’ll never get it, Sally. Lucky you for not having to experience anything like this. But just as you’ve judged her, it’s my judgement that you have a cold, cold heart.

      • Curt

        Thank you Rory, for saying what many others feel. Thank you!

      • SoNotMe

        Couldn’t agree more. Mackenzie is cashing in. If there was no money or book deal in this, she wouldn’t have even considered going PA with it. Personally, I think she is only jumping on the female-victimization bandwagon. I think her story (or most of it at least) is a lie to gain her second 15 seconds of fame and a little cash in her bank account. Even IF half of what she says is true, then she is every bit as sick and twisted as he was – maybe even more so. Send her back to her trailer house and don’t waste money on her book.

    • to chichi and shel

      Because maybe John would have had a chance to defend himself. Not downplaying sexual abuse but she is just “revealing” it for profit. Hey, Michael Jackson abused me 5 years ago. Kaching!!

    • Rene

      You guys are blowing my mind!! Luckily most of us have no idea what it is like to spend 3/4 of our lives in a drug fueled haze. If you ever known a drug addict, you know that they do stupid, irrational things that make zero sense. So frankly i don’t really doubt what she said. Based on the fact that her dad can’t defend himself she could have easily said she was raped the whole time but no, she admitted that it became consensual. And next time you are in a book store check out the shelves & shelves & shelves of books written by celebrities and regular folks telling us all kinds of stuff that is none of our business. All those books earn money regardless of whether you are a famous or not. Who am we to decide how someone should “free” themselves from whatever turmoil. If you are so offended by it don’t buy the book!!

      • angie

        I agree with Rene! If you are offended by this, don’t buy the book but she is telling the truth. i had something happen to me at the age of 9-13 and i don’t talk about it now but maybe 15 years or even 30 years from now, i wouldn’t be able to keep it bottled up for so long and will have to write about my story and maybe even go and talk about it. who knows? i don’t believe she made it up and what kind of sicko person would do that? i mean, come on!

    • Dana

      She is clearly looking to make a profit on her true or maybe not so true story of incest.

    • Curt

      Thank you – I agree wholeheartedly. Micheal Slezak – obviously you need to spend a little less time concerning yourself with the pop-culture aspect of things and spend mroe time considering that real people deal with very disturbing things all the time. When a person chooses to confront their demons is a personal choice – the point is WHENEVER a person comes forth, “the truth shall set you free” as both women noted in the interview. Sometimes that ‘truth’ is hard for audiences to hear but I applaud her braverey. I believe there are many people who will relate to her story, as disturbing as it was to watch. Some peoples lives are disturbing – but they are still worthy of being set free of their demons. Way to go Mackenzie. Weather you buy teh book or not – she should be supported in efforts to move on.

      • JenD

        Thank you Curt. MS, I love you, I love Idolatry (can’t wait til January!) but I have to agree that this is not the interview to be focusing on the pop culture aspects more than the humanity of it all.
        The timeline of these things are too complicated and too personal. And Mackenzie suffers from two separate challenges, she was raised in a celebrity family, which will screw up anybody, and she’s been a drug addict for, what?– half of her life. She isn’t going to behave rationally or possibly even graciously and selflessly. That doesn’t diminish what she went through. The whole point of this conversation she started is that incest and sexual abuse are more common than people realize and are willing to talk about.
        It makes me miss Charles Barkley pointing out that he’s not a role model. It simply isn’t the responsibility of celebrities to make the world better. At least she started the conversation. I see no reason to jump on her case about how she should have done it better.

  • Trish

    “Your father is supposed to protect you. Your father is supposed to protect you, not f*** you”

    ^Exactly. People have been trying to claim that she’s not a victim (the fact that anyone has claimed this is disturing), but she ABSOLUTELY is. Her father, who is supposed to love and protect her (regardless of what age she is), took advantage of her vulnerability in the most disgusting way.

  • Melanie

    Thanks for watching it so I don’t have to Slezak. I find the entire revelation gross and frankly self-serving. There are things that the public just doesn’t need to know – and this would be one’ve them.

    • Susan

      so she should’ve kept the incest and abuse to herself?

      I’m definitely not a proponent of celebrities writing tell-all books, but that doesn’t mean that she should’ve kept quiet about her suffering.

      • Steph

        I think what Melanie is trying to say (and forgive me if I am wrong) is that she is only sharing this BECAUSE her book is out. If she didnt have a book would she still say this? It seems like a better move wouldve been for her to share her past first then follow up with a book so it doesnt look like a publicity stunt. The fact that she has a book weakens her revelation and credibility which in itself is sad given how horrific her ordeal has been.

      • Bill

        Steph – EXACTLY! She could have shared this at any time in her life. She didn’t need to wait until she had a book to sell.

      • Isabelle

        But the whole purpose of writing the book may have been to help her start dealing with what happened to her. I’m not going to assume it’s a publicity stunt, and for me, the fact that she wrote it in a book doesn’t weaken her credibility. She’s bringing awareness to an incredibly important issue.

      • Isabelle

        Also, how dare people judge how long it took for her to discuss what happened. There’s no time limit on dealing with rape. Many people are NEVER able to discuss this kind of trauma.

      • someone who knows the pain

        One thing everyone is forgetting is that this info was already in the book. The questions were asked by Oprah in the first place. So, is it Mackenzie who is promoting the book or Oprah who is elevating ratings? And, agreed, there is no time limit on dealing with trauma like this. The shame that comes with it is unbearable.

      • Julie

        I agree that it feels very self-serving. I remember the entire era, from her mom and dad, to her very successful sitcom. She’s been in the celebrity world way too long to finally bring this up now. I always loved you, Mackenzie, and knew you had many demons, but it is way too late for revelations, it must be revenue based.

      • Maggie

        The incest story may be new to most of us, but it is not a new story.

        Her half-sister Chynna has told US magazine that MacKenzie told her in 1997 about the incest. She said she believes it, and that she was disgusted by it. Because of that she distanced herself from MacKenzie for a long time. Chynna says she eventually came to realize that she needed to be there for her sister to help her in her struggle with drugs.

      • SoNotMe

        She wasn’t suffering. It was consensual. He wasn’t the only one having a good time. This is probably a lie and amounts to nothing more than Mackenzie’s own sick and twisted incest fantasies.

      • angie

        this was her way to get it out and possibly help other women and i am sorry, but she has!~ she helped me understand that i shouldn’t keep my issues to myself and as will as many other women who have opened up since her apperance on the Oprah show.

    • NOYB

      “one’ve”??? wth?? ONE OF??

    • janna

      you are so right!!!

    • Janet

      You are so wrong. Regardless of the reasons for MacKenzie’s confession now. She was still a victim then as much as she is now. I was raped by my older brother for over 10 years. I never told anybody at all in fear that I would be the one blamed for it. By the time I realized I was not the bad “one”, I felt it was too late to tell anybody. I honestly thought people would say I must have enjoyed it after all I never said anything for that long. The truth is, I was scared! So woman, unless you have lived this situation, the shut up! The rapings stopped at age 20, at age 42 I finally stood up and talked about it. After all that time, I was finally able to stop feeling so worthless and actually start living my life as if I was someone!

      • Webke

        Janet, I’m sorry for your pain and applaud the courage it must have taken to speak up about what you’d endured. But did you publish a book about it and do a round on some talk shows? I think that’s what is making me uncomfortable. I think everyone needs to do what helps them heal, but all of the publicity surrounding this has a disturbing feel.

      • SoNotMe

        And how long has your brother been in prison for raping you, Janet? No “Statute of Limitations” on rape. I would put him away in a heartbeat to prevent him from hurting someone else. What have you done to serve justice?

    • rory

      It’s my feeling, Melanie, that her story will resonate with more people than those who find it gross.

      • Curt

        Rory knows what he/she’s talking about.

    • Bib

      How wrong can you get? UGH – people hiding family abuse under the rug is exactly why it continues to destroy so many lives. If you’re not close to someone who has survived abuse or incest, who has gotten help, you may not realize how much this really helps. Apparently on the followup satellite show Oprah hosts, MacKenzie fielded many, many calls from incest survivors and those from families who have lived with abuse.

    • QT

      Yes, let’s keep all our dirty little secrets and skeletons in the closet where they belong so people don’t think we’re not “normal” – totally ridiculous, WAKE UP!!! It’s not 1962 anymore dumb ass! It’s just that kind of phobic attitude that makes the world a terrible place… people should be called out on their awful behaviour so as to make the world safer for our children and the children of the future… TRUTH, AMEN!

  • Renae Rice

    I think it is disgusting that she would write a memoir about her sexual relationship with her father…her TEN YEAR relationship..thats just disgusting!

    • Sarah

      You’re blaming the victim. You’re saying that it’s wrong of her to write about it, when in fact writing about it may have been a cathartic experience for her, and it may have helped her begin the healing process.
      Also, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her wanting the public to know the truth about what kind of man her famous father really was.

      • Alan Shore

        But after he’s dead and can’t defend himself?

      • demented

        It doesn’t bug me that she wrote about it.

        It bugs me that she’s making money off it, and casually chitchatting on TV to get even more money.

      • Sarah

        The fact that he can’t “defend” himself doesn’t at all mean that she should withold what happened to her.
        Also, I’m not bothered by the fact that she’s making money off of this. She’s creating awareness about a serious problem that many children and teens have faced.

      • donna

        How do you know she is the victim? How do you know she is not now, victimizing him? We dont know if this is even true and he is not here to defend himself.
        I am not saying she is lying, I believe they probably did have an affair but I have doubts about the origins of that affair. I dont believe she woke up with him on her, I think it was more a two way street from beginning to end.
        Also, how can she be a victim when she admits she consented to it? Yes, the first time she said it was rape but as an adult in an age where coming out against your attacker was much more common, she said nothing and decided to have a sexual relationship?
        I think there was a relationship and she wanted to make a buck off of it but she didnt want the shame that goes with allowing the relationship to begin, so she made up a little white lie. Lets face it, it is not a badge of honor which seems to be how she is treating it.

      • Bill

        I don’t think there are that many teens who share cocaine with their fathers and then have 10-year consensual incestuous relationships with them. Child abuse is real and terrible, but this is just beyond the pale. How many people can possibly relate to this story?

      • Maggie

        Bill, there are quite a few teens and kids whose fathers rape them and then convince them to have a “consensual” relationship by using their role as an authority figure.
        Regardless of whether you think the relationship was “consensual”, she’s still a victim because her FATHER manipulated their relationship and took advantage of her in the worst way possible.

      • Kristina

        Having a book released at the time you’re actually sharing something traumatizing is highly suspicious. People have a right to throw up red flags on that point. However, Mackenzie has a history with lying to get her way out of a lot of things (including prison terms) and get drugs when necessary. It may be hard for someone to believe what she’s saying knowing her past.

      • BJ

        she actually admits it was a consensual relationship.She was over 18 it is discusting…they BOTH are discusting…HER included!

      • gigi

        are you out of your mind Sarah, of course it matters! So when you die and your kid comes out and says you did horrible things to him, how do you think your spouse or other kids would feel? Would you want your name sullied by the lies of a fame seeker? It DOES matter that he can’t discount her tales. It’s easy to say that someone did something after they’ve died, and the fact that she waited until he died seems very fishy to me.

      • jk911

        MP is hard to believe now, I’m not doubting that this happened, however, every couple of years she comes out with another bombshell and a book. Has she cried wolf again?
        BTW, i also went through this with my brother in law.

      • someone who knows the pain

        @Donna
        wow-so by this logic it is ok for a father to have this type of relationship if she consents. Wow, last time I checked a father should know this is wrong. And, as for making up the white lie, then why would she admit she ever consented if she could have just lied about all of it. It would make no sense to lie about this now unless it is simply to sell those books which would be terrible. I just cannot see Mackenzie making this up to be honest. Don’t judge unless you have been through it. The psychology of this is terribly complicated and difficult to deal with. Sometimes the only way to heal is to put it all out there. That is what she is likely doing. Reserve judgement that consensual makes her less of a victim since as a father he shouldn’t be doing this consentually or not.

      • Maggie

        MacKenzie did say that she told family members about this years ago. She also said that she confronted her father on his death bed and he shrugged off the matter as if it wasn’t a big deal. MacKenzie said she decided to forgive him as a way to unburden herself of all the shame, guilt, anger, etc. That’s when she started writing about her life to put it in persective.

        Incest is a fact of her life. She wrote her life story, and of course, the incest part is included. While promoting the book, the people interviewing her want to talk about the incest, as it is not something that people talk about very often.

        Given that Oprah herself was a victim of incest (uncle and cousin) it makes sense that Oprah would want to talk about this with MacKenzie.

      • Bobbie

        I’m not sitting in judgement of her timing, nor am I blaming her for what happedned……BUT I do however question her motive now AFTER her father’s death, AND continueing the relationship for ten yrs????????? I have been a victim of rape and I kept it away from my parents and even myself for over 20 yrs. But I didn’t keep the relationship going with my rapist nor did I write a book about it. I did however, sought therapy after I got older because the subject always stood between me and a “real” relationship with anyone. I’m sorry but writing a book, waiting til he dies, and keeping the relationship as long as she did, does not sound like someone trying to “connect” with others. In fact, first time shame on him, second time (plus) shame on me or in this case HER….

    • dee

      If you would have read the book or watched the interview you would know that she didn’t have sex with her father for 10 years!! She was raped at 19 then again 3 years later. It only became a ‘relationship’ at the end of the 10 year period.

  • Kate

    Some of the comments on here are absolutely disgusting. This is a girl who was raped by her father when she was 10 YEARS OLD, and then subsequently raped by him again later in life. I’m ashamed to see that many people on here are calling HER the disgusting one instead of recognizing how traumatized she is (and will be for the rest of her life) because of her childhood and teenage molestation.
    Some of your guys’ comments are incredibly misogynistic and disturbing.

    • Laura

      Not when she was 10. When she was 19. Not that it makes it any better or less damaging to her.

      • Kate

        she was raped by her father when she was 10 (as stated at the beginning of this article).

      • lolita

        No it does not. Whatever side of this anyone is on, telling lies about what has been stated is not going to help their cause. NO where does it say she was 10 years old, here or anyone else. Take. a da**. breath.

      • fred

        Kate….she had a “10 yr. relationship with her father.” Mick Jagger said,”he had been waiting for this since she was 10 yrs old. Where do you get that she was raped when she was 10? Please learn to read before posting again!

      • Sophie ANn

        She started shooting up with her Dad at 10 years old, didn’t she?

      • Diane

        The article says that she had a 10 year affair with her father, Kate. I think you misread the story

    • Sarah

      Actually, she said she was about 17 or 18. Doesn’t make it any better really but it does change the story a bit

      • Sarah

        ooops, replied before Laura’s post- I didn’t mean for my post to sound so nitpicky

    • donna

      No Kate, she was 19. Mick Jagger wanted her when she was 10 but waited, not that he was right to ever touch her. If you read the artical again, she was 19 when she began a 10 year relationship with her father.

      • Maggie

        Doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t matter if she was 15 or 50.
        Regardless of whether you think the relationship was “consensual”, she’s still a victim because her FATHER manipulated their relationship and took advantage of her in the worst way possible. There’s no way to even describe the kind of trauma that causes.

      • mscisluv

        I really want to know of Mick Jagger’s camp is planning on responding to this. She made a claim about him that is pretty damaging (“I’ve wanted you since you were 10″).

      • Maggie

        She’s been telling that Mick Jagger story for years. Nothing new there.

      • Catherine

        I totally do not believe the Mick Jagger story. Jagger has slept with a lot of women (BEAUTIFUL women) and I cannot believe he has any kind of pedophilia tendencies. I think she stretched the truth on this one.

    • gigi

      Lemme fix that for you:
      “Some of the comments on here are absolutely disgusting. This is a girl who was ALLEGEDLY raped by her father when she was 10 YEARS OLD, and then subsequently raped by him again later in life.”

      • fred

        NO GIGI ! she wasn’t 10! reread the article, this time a little slower so you can understand it!

      • Shel

        OMG, I do not know whether to laugh or cry, this is pathetic. Why can’t people take the time to actually READ what they want to talk about??

    • Janet

      You people who are insisting that MacKenzie is disgusting because of this are the people who probably had a perfect little childhood! Not every child has a perfect world to live in. Think about how you would be thinking right now if it happened to you!

      • JT

        Janet, you’re way off there. I personally did not have a “perfect little childhood” and I have a hard time with this truth. I find it a little strange that she never came out with this before, even though there are claims that her family knew for over 10 years. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know what happened because I don’t. The timing of this whole thing just seems a little weird. Now I have to go back to my “perfect little life.”

    • Mandi

      Kate, honey, you are embaressing yourself. This is a comment, not a published article. It is kinda not the same. Second, people are outraged about her just jumping in the boat and havind a sexual relationship with her dad for 10 years. God knows what had been in her mind to make this kind of decision, but in the end it was her decision. She could have done different and just said no to it. Not judging here – because she had a very complicated life – but sometimes our decision to run from a problem, ignore a problem, create more problems or face the problem and deal with it is the one that makes our lives harder than they could be.

    • SoNotMe

      Kate, you need to go back and take some reading comprehension courses. The ALLEGED abuse started when she was 19, only to progress to a consensual “…if it feels good, do it!” relationship ten years later. And you can pack the misogyny reference in your post. Calling people “mysogynists” because they disagree with a woman’s story is like calling people “racists” because they don’t agree with Obama-care.

  • psb1962

    I RESPECT AND AND ADMIRE MS. PHILLIPS, FOR HER COURAGE AND HONESTY..I’VE KNOWN ABOUT HER TROUBLED LIFE FOR SOME TIME NOW, AND HAVE NEVER (AND NEVER WILL) JUDGE HER; BUT ONLY WISH HER WELL FOR RECOVERY IS AN ON GOUNG PROCESS!!

  • Alan Shore

    Thanks for including that link to Borders.com, Michael. Let’s make it as easy as possible for the bottom-feeders to buy–and sell-this book.

    • Gypsy Cowgirl

      Yeh, I figured it was about this. Sad but true

  • BJohnson

    I have questions about how selling it for $21 at Borders will help the healing, maybe if she didn’t have a book to promote. If her dad was there to have his say. Why couldn’t she just speak for free at meetings for people who dealt with incest. I didn’t watch the show. Did Valerie look geniunely concerned or was it “cause Oprah told me to be there” appearance? I tape Oprah, but this is an episode I can delete. She wouldn’t be the first author on her show that lied.

    • Roma

      If this is true, no matter her age or if she says after a time the relationship became “consensual” she is a victim. The problem I have is her history of drug abuse and mental illness makes me unsure if this was really real or if she thinks it was real through a drug induced haze. I can’t imagine that this is a made up lie, because that would truly be sick, but then again….she is known for being truly sick.

      Sad, sad, sad no matter how you look at it.

      • BJohnson

        I agree Roma. I try to think of college days where I’ve drunk too much and people had to tell me what I’ve done. How she had that much clarity during her addiction is suspect. No matter what is true or untrue, it is sad period what drug abuse has done.

    • Maggie

      MaxKenzie has been involved with incest survivor groups, and mentioned that on the show. That’s one of the reasons she wanted to make herself the “public face” of incest victims. She wanted to help people be able to talk about this issue, and take the stigma away from the victims.

      Valerie looked very concerned. She appologized for ignoring MacKenzie, when she should have been there to support her. Valerie also said that knowing this now answers questions about things she saw with MacKenzie over the years. Valerie said she was too wrapped up in her own life to pay attention to her “sister” and that she felt it was selfish of her.

  • bootsycolumbia

    Mackenzie Philips is awesome. She’s an incredibly brave woman who grew up in a home where there was no structure, no boundaries, no rules, and full of a lot of adults who obviously were too messed up to take care of the children properly (to say the least!). The fact that she’s alive and survived what sounds like a nightmare of a childhood speaks volumes about her. Yes, I know she’s been an addict for many years, but truthfully, if I’d gone through a fraction of her experiences, I’d be one too. I truly hope that getting this secret out will help her in her on-going recovery and possibly help other women and men who are in similar situations and can’t figure out how to get out. Good luck, Mackenzie. Don’t listen to the haters. Keep going to meetings, keep getting the therapy you need, and continue on your path to wellness. I wish you nothing but the best.

    • Mandi

      I wonder why people have children if they can´t even take care of themselves. Then they bring up the poor ones to be even messier than they were as parents. Some say the molested kid today will be the child molester tomorrow. That´s sad…

  • chris

    I dare anyone judge her,even if he thought about sexually abusing his daughter that makes her a victim.

    • me

      We don’t know if it is true. He is dead and can’t defend himself. I am not blaming the victim but one major thing that bothers me is that she said they were both high on drugs and she would wake up and find him next to her and the deed done. How was he so high functioning in his drugged stupor that he knew what was going on but she only would wake up afterwards? I don’t know. Back in the 70′s when my boyfreind was high, his little ding dong wasn’t working so well.

  • CoCo

    Well, now we know why she’s so f-cked up. Where in the hell was her mother?

    • Maggie

      She said her parents were divorced. Her mom was very strict, but her dad was “sex, drugs, and rock & roll.” She told a story about her dad shooting her up with drugs when she was a child.

    • Savon

      Yes – I wondered why her biological mother was never mentioned. Where was she? Is she/was she dead?

      I can see the mixed feelings a lot here have, and I admit to the same. I did watch it, and During the interview, I was shocked, but also felt she was brave to admit the horrors. On the other hand, I also felt she was bringing even More shame upon herself – probably not the best way to recover. She really needs Private counseling.

      • bootsycolumbia

        I’m sure she has had private counseling, and a lot of it. I’ll say one thing about Mackenzie Philips, and every incest survivor I know, it takes years to come out and say what happened. The games that the abuser plays on the victim–it’s our secret, no-one will believe you, you’re dirty,etc., etc.–can screw you up so that you don’t know whats really and what’s the truth. I’m sure that many years of private counseling led Mackenzie to this point. Did she make the right decision to go public with this? Judging from some of the response, maybe not. But I think it was really brave of her and a big step in her recovery.

  • Pat Wright

    Where does is say she was molested by her father when she was ten years old? It didn’t mention that in any of the news tabloids, if thats the case then he is definately a victim. but my understanding is this all started when she was 19 years old, if That is true, then she is no victim because she continued it through her adulthood.

    • Kate

      It did start when she was 10.

      “the One Day at a Time actress discussed being raped by (and later going on to have a 10-year-long, consensual sexual relationship with) her father, Mamas and the Papas singer John Phillips”

      However, even if it did start when she was 19, she absolutely still is the victim. Your father is supposed to love and protect you UNCONDITIONALLY. He is not supposed to take advantage of you, in the worst way possible, when you’re at your lowest point.
      I’m disgusted by those on here who don’t see her as a victim. Imagine how horrific her childhood must’ve been with a father like that.

      • Laura

        Doesn’t say it started at age 10. Nor does your quote.

      • Isabelle

        I think Kate misread that quote, but I COMPLETELY agree with her. Regardless of your age, your father is supposed to protect you, not take advantage of you in the most disgusting way. There’s nothing worse than a parent who takes advantage of their child.

      • Shane

        Are you retarded Kate?

        It says -10-year-LONG-

        ===Oprah also pushed Phillips about the fact that by the age of 29, when her sexual relationship with her dad had become consensual, she must have been “very much aware” it was wrong.===

        29 – 10 = 19. *gasp*

        Jeez, people like you irk the hell out of me. Learn to read.

      • Laura

        I agree with you Isabelle. I don’t mean to suggest that this isn’t a horrible thing that happened (assuming that it did, and I have little to no reason to believe that it didn’t), or that she isn’t a victim. I hope that this helps her heal in some way.

        I will not buy her book, however.

      • JC

        10 year long relationship. Not at 10 years old. It started when she was 19. Her father raped her. Then, after discussing it with him, she willingly entered into a 10 year long relationship with him, ending when she was 29. She found out that she was pregnant and realized the father of her baby could be her father or another man, the father of her other son. She had an abortion at 29 and ended the physical relationship with her father.

        The link to that is here: http://www.oprah.com/media/20090826-tows-mackenzie-rape

        The 10 year old thing has to do with Mick Jagger confronting her at age 18 (or a bit before) and saying he had waited to be with her sexually since she was 10 years old.

        Also, in some ways,she’s a victim. She didn’t ask to be raped. She did, however, admit that the 10 year relationship was consensual. It is a problem with the power dynamics, but she herself says she was “old enough to know better” and that the relationship was CONSENSUAL. That means she Consented, even though she knew it was wrong.

      • Maggie

        Shane, using the term “retarded” is INCREDIBLY offensive. All Kate did was misread one sentence. That doesn’t “irk” me. You irk me with your use of offensive phrases.

      • lolita

        Kate, the fact that you KEEP insisting something has been stated that has not just makes everything else in your argument weaker. Take a breath. READ. Get a CLUE. The fact that you won’t stop saying this makes it seem like you are purposely lying. STOP.

      • jk

        Kate, I agree that it doesn’t make it any better if she was raped at 10 or 19, but you really should properly read quotes before you comment THREE TIMES claiming that other people are wrong. He did not rape her when she was ten as far as we know, as your copy-and-paste quote proves.

      • fred

        NO KATE…read Shane’s post at 7:13. What, are you 7 yrs old?

      • Kate

        DAHHHH my name is Kate and Mackenzie Phillips was only 10 years old in this story! DUHHHHHHHH!

      • kandi

        yeah u all need to learn how to read.

        ===Oprah also pushed Phillips about the fact that by the age of 29, when her sexual relationship with her dad had become consensual, she must have been “very much aware” it was wrong.===

        this says that the 10 years started when she was 29.

      • Shel

        To kandi – no it doesn’t. To Kate – *please* learn to read. I agree with the basic premise that it is wrong at any age, but not with the implication that we need to stop trying to correct Kate. It *is* important that she realize she is WRONG before she informs the whole blogosphere that Mackenzie was 10, not 19. Facts matter. So does being able to read.

      • Molly

        Kate, you may be the one person who really needs to read the book to clarify what happened when. Or at least to watch the Oprah interview again.

    • Shocked

      age is not the issue; it is she woke up from a blackout and her father was on top of her having sex…that is rape, it was done without her consent and it is so common to wait years to tell anyone.

      • Gwen

        If you wake up and someone is having sex with you, regardless of your age, regardless of your relationship, it is rape. Period. It only has to happen one time to damage you. Now imagine that person is someone you trust. Now imagine that person is your father.

      • SoNotMe

        Good thing John Phillips is dead and can’t respond to Mackenzie’s allegations against him. Who knows, maybe HE was the victim and it was Mackenzie who pursued him sexually. He was the rich and famous musician and she was a homely little girl who couldn’t even get noticed on “One Day At A Time” with little-miss-perfect, Valerie Bertinelli, outshining her (Valerie Bertinelli was definitely the hot one of the two!). Who’s to say that Mackenzie didn’t NEED the attention she so tearfully confesses now? Maybe John Phillips is the real victim here. But then, we’ll never know for sure, because he’s good and dead now. It would be interesting to know if Mackenzie has some greater profit potential from his estate if she claims victimization from her father?

  • Gia

    Where was Mackenzie’s mother while all this disfunction was going on?

    • Laura

      Divorced in the early 60′s.

    • Stacey

      Maggie, Kate DID only misread one sentence- over and over and over again. She makes the retarded look brilliant. Sorry.

      • D’s Advocate

        But it’s still a rude and offensive thing to say. And now you’re part of it, Stacey! Congratulations on lowering the bar.

      • Lindsay

        … and if you look a few post above this, she just did it again.

        I found the interplay between the posts interesting until they lost any grain of what was adressed in the article…

        the way the Oprah appearence presents Mackenzie just screams “i’d like some more time in the lime light” which it def. shouldn’t, sometimes celebrity and social issues don’t mesh well, this is one of those times. Instead of reaching other incest sufferers shes alienating anyone who’d benifit by the way its presented.

        The article doesn’t say she was 10, get over it.

      • Jahari

        Hi Lindsay –

        I am an incest survivor and the way Mackenzie presented her story on Oprah did not alienate me. In fact I cried the whole time with her for I know her pain. What some of the posts on this board does reaffirm is the victim is often held to blame. And most often those around them wish they would suffer in silence while everyone else pretends that it did not happen or happened through some fault of their own.

        My rapes started at age 8 and stopped when I was big enough to fight my victimizer off. Because of shame I have shared my story with only two people, both were also his victims. He has asked for forgiveness and lives his life as nothing has happened although he tried to rape me again when I was 32. (While I thought to myself “or you kidding me I will be a bullet in your brains.)

        We need to wake up. Our children are being sexually abused and scarred for life. I wear those scars and they are not a badge of honor.

        Think you, Mackenzie for shining a light on a dark secret. I hope I get the courage one day to step out of the darkness and help others who, like me, are suffering in silent shame.

        Jahari

      • SoNotMe

        Jahari… once again; how much time did YOUR “victimizer” spend in prison for raping you? You say you know of two other victims as well. What have you done to serve justice against this rapist? Or do you still just turn your own head and allow him/her to victimize even more innocents? There is no “statute of limitations” on rape – not even incestual rape. So what have you done to protect society from this evil-doer? Got justice?

  • NOYB

    “There are things that the public just doesn’t need to know – and this would be one’ve them.

    wtf does “one’ve” mean? LOL you mean ONE OF??? hahahaha

    • D’s Advocate

      I don’t know that your grammar and spelling lessons mean a lot when you use internet abbreviations and forget to capitalize the beginning of sentences, NOYB.

    • fred

      Cm’on NOYB, give her a break. She’e prolly from the South. That’d be the way we talk down here. Shollda woulda coulda.

  • Cat

    This whole thing is extremely unsettling. Mackenzie has a right to tell her story, and hopefully her candor will help someone else who might also be in a bad situation. However, I can’t help feeling unsettled by the fact that this very personal, disturbing story is being flashed across the news feeds. If the goal is to help people caught in incest, that’s one thing, but the gossipy/tabloid side of it all makes me think that some stories are best left untold. I wish I hadn’t read about this today.

    • BJohnson

      Getting on Oprah will get it across the news feed. That’s exactly what she wanted. If she didn’t want the headline on the newswire, she wouldn’t have promoted it on Oprah during her premiere weeks.

      • Isabelle

        what’s wrong with getting it on the newswire? This is a serious issue that many people have dealt with. Attention needs to be brought to the victims of this crime.

      • Bill

        Do you have statistics on the number of young women who shoot up cocaine with their dads and then carry on 10-year incestuous affairs? Cause I’m thinking that would be a REALLY small meeting.

      • Maggie

        Every victim of a crime has a unique circumstance. I’m a social worker and I’ve heard even more unbelievable stories than that. However, the common thread is sexual abuse by a parent. And trust me, that is a HUGE meeting.

      • Maggie

        Incest is the issue. MacKenzie said she has been a member of incest survivor groups for a long time. She decided to speak out and become the “public face” of incest in an effort to take the stigma away from the victims.

      • Shocked

        Bill, I think you are wrong; the numbers of sexual abuse are huge, just most victims don’t talk because they are afraid of what people will say: you asked for it, you probably liked it, because it continued it makes you just as much to blame. If what she says in her book is true most of it happened when she was wasted or unconcious and that is not consensual, it is rape. Of course we would want to hear his side but we won’t since we can’t although other family members have already said she told them years ago. So many victims keep quiet because they are afraid of being judged, just as she is now being judged. Instead, why don’t we take the story as a way to get the facts of abuse, rape, drugs and incest out in the open. I suppose the young woman in Calif asked for it too because she stayed with the man who abducted and raped her. We need to be more compassionate to these stories and not judge the victim and ultimately this woman is a victim.

    • Al

      The more untold,The more generations………..

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