Mackenzie Phillips is set to tell Oprah tomorrow that she was raped by her father, John Phillips, and continued to have a sexual relationship with him for many years. She revealed as much in her tell-all book that comes out Wednesday:
"On the eve of my wedding, my father showed up, determined to stop it. 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 talked to "People" magazine about the incest, which had this to say about her experience:
"In 1980, she was fired from One Day at a Time because of her constant drug use. That same year, she went to rehab - with her father. She even toured with him in a band called the New Mamas and the Papas. Her sexual relationship with him had become consensual."
Nope. Not consensual. Not even close. Whether this is the media's understanding of her lack of outward protest or her own internalization of such heinous events, it's not true. She could not have given consent. She was 19 and drugged out of her mind and her father raped her. The trauma of that event combined with her obviously troubled past made her vulnerable to the saddest emotional and mental conditions: Women who are victims of sexual assault are 26 times more likely to abuse drugs and four times more likely to contemplate suicide. She was in no way capable of saying no to a man who had so much influence over her. I doubt incest victims ever are ever capable of consent with their abuser.
According to the National Center For Victims of Crime, "Studies conclude that 43% of the children who are abused are abused by family members...Over 10 million Americans have been victims of incest," most of which is father-daughter.
Follow Alex Leo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AlexMLeo