February 22nd, 2011
10:29 AM ET
After detailing her 10-year sexual relationship with her father in the 2009 tell-all "High on Arrival," Mackenzie Phillips says she has been abandoned by her famous family.
Mackenzie, whose dad was rock legend John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, told the "Today" show's Meredith Vieira that she has encountered a dramatic backlash since telling her story, including being cut off by her former step-mom Michelle Phillips and her step-sisters, singer Chynna and actress Bijou.
"They've all known about it for years, so the family members that come forward and say this isn't true and she's crazy are a textbook case of the way a family reacts to incest within the family," Mackenzie said on "Today" Tuesday morning. "It's been really hard. It's been really hard to not have my sisters and my brothers and my 'wicked ex-stepmother,' with whom I've been really close over the years. But to have them basically just say, 'That's it! We're done with you…'"
Michelle, who was a member of the Mamas and the Papas and was married to John from 1962-1970, has denied Mackenzie's claims, chalking them up to her many years of drug abuse.
"After 35 years with a needle up her arm (including several months while she was pregnant) it's difficult to believe much of her story," Michelle said in a statement. "She has hurt everyone in her family tremendously and apparently feels no guilt or shame in doing it or even how she decided to deal with her… um … memories."
"Aww Mich. Again, maybe I'm naïve, but I'm an eternal optimist and I certainly didn't expect such vitriol from someone who's expected and thought of as such a classy woman," she told Vieira.
Despite being kept at a distance from her family, the former "One Day at a Time" star has no regrets about sharing her story of survival.
"If I had written it while he was alive, people would have said why didn't you wait until he was dead," she says of the book, which is now out in paperback. "It is my story. I went out of my way not to tell Michelle's story. Or Chynna's. Or Bijou's. Or anybody else's but my own. And now they're still trying to tell stories about me… I love my family. I sit here with open arms, hoping they'll come back into my life."
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