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Mackenzie Phillips says she had sex with her dad

The Mamas and the Papas, from left to right: Michelle Phillips, John Phillips (in tube), Denny Doherty, and Mama Cass Elliot. The sixties pop rock band is remembered for its sweet harmony and enchanting melodies.
The Mamas and the Papas, from left to right: Michelle Phillips, John Phillips (in tube), Denny Doherty, and Mama Cass Elliot. The sixties pop rock band is remembered for its sweet harmony and enchanting melodies.
Father and Daughter, John and MacKenzie Phillips, in 1998.

Father and Daughter, John and MacKenzie Phillips, in 1998.

Associated Press

Wed Sep 23, 12:37 pm ET

CHICAGO – Former child star Mackenzie Phillips said Wednesday her father, John Phillips, who was a leader of the 1960s pop group the Mamas and the Papas, raped her when she was a teenager and that her sexual relationship with him later became what she termed “consensual.”

Mackenzie Phillips 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, according to People magazine.

“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.”

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 that said he was “incapable, no matter how drunk or drugged he was, of having such a relationship with his own child.”

At far right, MacKenzie Phillips from a publicity photo for the 80s TV sitcom, "One Day at a Time." MacKenzie Phillips is best known for her roles as an emotionally troubled and rebellious teenager.

At far right, MacKenzie Phillips from a publicity photo for the 80s TV sitcom, “One Day at a Time.” MacKenzie Phillips is best known for her roles as an emotionally troubled and rebellious teenager.

Phillips, 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 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.

Phillips said the sexual relationship, although she believes it 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.”

Here is a video of the Mamas and the Papas singing “California Dreaming.” MacKenzie Phillips’ father, John Phillips – “Papa John” –  plays guitar, wearing a fur hat. The other band members are Michelle Phillips (at the time, John Phillips’ wife and MacKenzie’s stepmother), Mama Cass Elliot, and Denny Doherty.

 Click here for more on the wild and reckless lives of John and Michelle Phillips.

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