The lurid details are out: Mackenzie Phillips slept with Papa John.
And her story was a hit in terms of TV. But did it go too far?
Yesterday, the former ‘One Day At A Time’ star and longtime druggie began promoting her newly published memoir ‘High On Arrival’ by telling all to Oprah Winfrey, who primed viewers the day before by writing on her Twitter, “Thought I’d heard it all…beyond shocking!”
It was, too.
Phillips, 49, revealed that she’d had a 10-year consensual relationship with her father, John Phillips, who fronted the Mamas and the Papas before he died in 2001.
“I want to be the face of consensual incest,” Phillips said. “I can’t be the only one this has happened to!”
Although Oprah looked disgusted at times during the interview, she apparently couldn’t get enough of the story and is having Phillips back this Friday, September 25, for a follow-up segment. She will appear via satellite from New York City.
Oprah isn’t the only one who realized this unique story had everyone buzzing.
In the wake of yesterday’s appearance and the avalanche of press, the ‘Today Show’ now plans to air three segments with Phillips today, in the 7 am hour, the 8 AM hour and the 10 AM hour.
Plus Dr. Drew Pinksy, never one to miss a celebrity overdose or story of abuse, will appear on Larry King Live in support of Phillips. He is also doing interviews about the book with ‘Access Hollywood’ and ‘EXTRA.’
But industry website The Wrap wondered if Phillips provided too much information..
“In an era where people tweet about what they had for lunch and starlets bare their panties on TMZ, there may still be a limit on how much personal information we want to know,” wrote Amy Kaufman on The Wrap.
“Across Twitter and on other social media sites, the resounding sentiment was that Phillips’ story had crossed into ‘TMI’ … too much information.”
“It is the story that everyone’s talking about – some with fascination and others with disgust,” said a talk show insider.
Phillips said she thought she was “going to hell” for what she did.
Maybe talk show bookers will, too.
“I watched her on Oprah,” said one woman in a Los Angeles restaurant. “I couldn’t turn it off. But then I wondered what purpose this was serving. Did I need to know? Did America need to know?”
Twitter was filled with comments about Phillips.
“OK Mackenzie Phillips, you could have kept that little tidbit of information to yourself,” wrote one person. “I don’t care what your therapist said.”
One thing is certain: Phillips had a lot to say.
In the ickiest moment of yesterday’s show, Phillips said her decade of sex with her daddy ended when she became pregnant and had an abortion, fearing the child was his.
“Your father is supposed to protect you,” Phillips, wrote in her book. Book.
“Not f- – - you.”
She said her diddling daddy once suggested they run off to Hawaii.
“We could just run away to a country were no one would look down on us,” said the elder Phillips, then 50, to his daughter, then in her 20s. “There are countries where this is an accepted practice. Maybe Fiji.”
“We were lying in bed in a stupor,” she wrote. “He was fantasizing about living with me, as husband and wife, and raising my siblings, his children, his son, his grandchild as our children.
“The moment he tried to make it romantic, I had a visceral reaction, No, I thought, we’re going to hell for this.”
“I understand he was a very tortured man and passed that torture down to me,” Phillips told Oprah.
“Why isn’t she with a good psychiatrist on a couch,” John Phillips’ ex-wife, Michelle, told the Hollywood Reporter. “Mackenzie has a lot of mental illness. She’s had a needle stuck up her arm for 35 years. She was arrested for heroin and coke just recently. She did ‘Celebrity Rehab’ and now she writes a book. The whole thing is timed.
Thus far, Phillips’ book is #5 on Amazon’s bestseller list.