On September 23, 2009, former One Day at a Time
star Mackenzie Phillips appeared on The Oprah Show
to reveal a shocking family secret she'd kept for years. She told Oprah that she'd carried on a sexual relationship with her father, John Phillips, the founder of the Mamas & the Papas, for approximately 10 years.
In her new memoir, High on Arrival
, Mackenzie describes her relationship with her father in detail. "I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father," she writes. "I don't remember how it started or, thankfully, how it ended." Mackenzie says she was 17 or 18 the first time she was raped by her father, but they eventually became involved in a consensual relationship.
Mackenzie says she's been overwhelmed by the reaction to her revelations. "I expected there to be controversy, but I certainly never expected it to be like this," she says. "I've gotten at least 150 letters from women saying, 'I lived through this.' And people saying: 'You go, Mac. Own your truth and don't back down.' It's been very heartening, and it's been heartbreaking at the same time."