“Don’t hate my father,” Mackenzie Phillips tells PEOPLE.
But in a tell-all book out Wednesday, the former childhood actress reveals that her dad, musician John Phillips of the ’60s band the Mamas and the Papas, engaged with her in a long-term incestuous relationship.
Phillips, 49, who has survived drug addiction, arrests and divorce, writes in the book “High on Arrival” that she was already a star playing a boy-crazy teen on the TV sitcom “One Day at a Time” when her father had sex with her on the night before she was to marry Jeff Sessler, a member of the Rolling Stones entourage, in 1979.
“On the eve of my wedding, my father showed up, determined to stop it,” writes Phillips, who was 19 and a heavy drug user at the time. “I had tons of pills, and Dad had tons of everything too. Eventually I passed out on Dad’s bed.”
“My father was not a man with boundaries. He was full of love, and he was sick with drugs. I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father.
“Had this happened before? I didn’t know. All I can say is it was the first time I was aware of it. For a moment I was in my body, in that horrible truth, and then I slid back into a blackout.”
Phillips’ life began to spiral out of control. In 1980, she was fired from “One Day at a Time” because of her constant drug use. That same year, she went to rehab — with her father. She even toured with him in a band called the New Mamas and the Papas. Her sexual relationship with him had become consensual.
“I was a fragment of a person, and my secret isolated me,” she writes.
“One night Dad said, ‘We could just run away to a country where no one would look down on us. There are countries where this is an accepted practice. Maybe Fiji.’
“He was completely delusional. No, I thought, we’re going to hell for this.”