Former child star Mackenzie Phillips said Wednesday that she had a decade-long sexual relationship with her father, pop superstar John Phillips, who also taught her how to roll joints and injected her with cocaine.
Mackenzie Phillips, 49, writes in her new book, "High on Arrival," that she had sex with her father on the night before she was to get married in 1979 at age 19.
Phillips wrote in her book: "I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father." John Phillips, who died in 2001, was the leader of the 1960s group the Mamas and the Papas.
She told "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in an interview that aired Wednesday that her siblings "definitely have a problem with this." Winfrey also read a statement from Genevieve Waite, John Phillips' wife at the time of the alleged abuse and Mackenzie's stepmother. Waite's statement said John Phillips was "incapable, no matter how drunk or drugged he was, of having such a relationship with his own child."
Phillips, 49, who starred on TV's "One Day at a Time," said the sexual relationship with her father lasted a decade and ended when she became pregnant and didn't know who had fathered the child. She had an abortion, which her father paid for, and "and I never let him touch me again."
Phillips' mother is Susan Adams, the first of John Phillips' four wives. He was also married for eight years to "Mamas and Papas" singer and co-founder Michelle Phillips.
Phillips has long acknowledged having drug problems, and she told Winfrey that she first tried cocaine when she was 11 years old. Her father did drugs with her, taught her to roll joints and injected her with cocaine. Phillips said she's been clean for a year after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine and entering a drug treatment program.
‘Someone needs to put a face on consensual incest’
She said she confronted her father in the early stages of the abuse, which she described as rape.
"My dad said, 'Raped you? Don't you mean when we made love?' And in that moment I thought, 'Wow, I'm really on my own here,'" Phillips said. She learned to turn her anger toward herself and "boxed it away" rather than think about the drug-fueled incest, she said.
Phillips said she doesn't hate her father, who died in 2001 of heart failure at the age of 65.
"I understand that he was a very tortured man and ... passed that torture down to me," she said.
Phillips said the sexual relationship, although she believes it eventually became consensual, was "an abuse of power" and "a betrayal" on her father's part. She said she forgave John Phillips on his deathbed.
"I can't be the only one this has happened to," Phillips said. "Someone needs to put a face on consensual incest."
Half-sister Chynna Phillips told US Weekly that a "part of her died" when Mackenzie Phillips first told her about the sexual relationship in 1997.
"They were both doing drugs together," the former member of the 1990s pop group Wilson Phillips told the magazine in Friday editions. "After long nights of heroin use, she's claiming that she once woke up and that my father was on top of her having sex with her. Was he actually raping her? I don't know. Do I believe that they had an incestuous relationship and that it went on for 10 years? Yes."
Mackenzie Phillips' book was in the top 20 on Amazon.com as of Wednesday afternoon, but it wouldn't be the first popular book about consensual incest. In 1997, novelist Kathryn Harrison had a best-seller with "The Kiss," a memoir about her affair with her father.
John Phillips, who also had an acknowledged history of drug abuse, co-founded the Mamas and the Papas and helped write its biggest hits, including "California Dreamin'" and "Monday Monday." He also helped organize the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which helped introduce Jimi Hendrix to American audiences.