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Mackenzie Phillips: “My Father Was Not a Bad Man”

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 John Sciulli/


Former child star Mackenzie Phillip is defending her father, 60s musician John Phillips, with whom she claims she had a decade-long sexual relationship.

"My father was not a bad man," she said on the Today show Thursday. He was a very sick man. And if anyone out there can possibly separate his body of work from his personal demons, I think that would be the honorable thing to do."

Mackenzie, 49, added that her father — with whom she says she also did drugs — "didn't set out to hurt me. He did the best with what he had. He was a damaged guy.

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She also clarified reports that their relationship — which she details in her new book, High on Arrival — lasted 10 years.

"At 18, I was molested. Then maybe three years later, I started waking up later with my pants down around my ankles," she said. "And then maybe two years after that, it became consensual."

"So to call it a 10-year relationship is not correct," she said. "This was a warped event that occurred over time."

Though she says she does not blame herself for her the incest, she says, "I believe I have some accountability for what went down afterwards."

She previously told Oprah Winfey she became pregnant and didn't know who had fathered the child. So she had an abortion, which her father paid for, "and I never let him touch me again.

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"Some of her family is standing by her.

Mackenzie's half-sister Chynna tells the new Us Weekly (on newsstands now), "I have pretty much come to peace with the fact that she's written this book and that it's been a cathartic experience for her."

But her step-mother Michelle Phillips has told Entertainment Tonight: "Mackenzie's drug addiction for 35 years has been the result of many unpleasant experiences. Whether her relationship with her father is delusional or not, it is an unfortunate circumstance and very hurtful for our entire family."

Despite the criticism, Mackenzie said on the Today show, "the outpouring  of support from other incest survivors has been phenomenal."

"This is a subject that is so incredibly taboo, as it should be, but there needs to be a dialogue about it," she continued. "The covers need to be pulled."


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