Her sisters are upset, her stepmom calls her a liar, but Mackenzie Phillips isn’t backing down from her claim of a long-term sexual relationship with her dad.
She hopes to become the public face of incest, not a post anyone would want to hold, but one that represents an issue she says gets too little attention.
“If I’ve started a national dialogue that’s going to help people face these issues, then I’m forever grateful,” Phillips, 49, said Friday via satellite on Oprah.
Mackenzie Phillips, who revealed her shocking secret in a new memoir, High on Arrival, appeared for the second time this week on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
She returned to Oprah to face the doubts from her family about the nature of her relationship with John Phillips, founder of the band The Mamas and the Papas.
Bijou, Chynna and Mackenzie Phillips.
On Friday’s show, Winfrey read comments made by John’s ex-wife, Michelle, who was also a member of the band and later Mackenzie’s stepmother:
“I have every reason to believe it’s untrue,” Michelle Phillips said, adding that Mackenzie has a history of mental illness and drug abuse.
Mackenzie Phillips, who also says she became pregnant, possibly with John’s love child (which she aborted), didn’t take the accusation sitting down, although she has by no means attempted to deny her long and troubled history of drug use.
Mackenzie’s half-sister, Chynna Phillips, appeared live with Oprah and said that her mother, Michelle, is angry. “It’s not something that my mom wants plastered all over the papers,” she said, backing up her sister’s side of the story.
But Chynna Phillips admitted she, too, shared some of her mother’s sentiment: “Am I exceedingly joyful that my family secret that I told my therapist, my husband and my very best friend in the whole word [is now public]? No.”
Nevertheless, she said, she has known about the situation for 12 years and, while she wasn’t certain that her sister could be entirely accurate about the details, definitely believed that the two were sexually involved for a decade.
“I was completely stunned,” she said when Mackenzie shared the secret. “I walked around in a comatose state for about 10 days.”
Mackenzie Phillips and father/possible lover John.
Another sibling, Bijou Phillips, has released the following statement:
“When I was 13, Mackenzie told me she had a consensual sexual relationship with our father. This news was confusing and scary, as I lived alone with my father since I was 3, I didn’t know what to believe and it didn’t help that shortly there after Mackenzie told me it didn’t happen …. “
“I understand Mackenzie’s need to come clean with a history she feels will help others, but it’s devastating to have the world watch as we try and mend broken fences, especially when the man in question isn’t here to defend himself.”