Mackenzie Phillips: Sex with Dad Not Consensual

Phillips says she's learned there's "no such thing as consensual incest"

By Daniel Macht
|  Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 AM CDT
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Mackenzie Phillips: Sex with Dad Not Consensual

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John Phillips poses for a photograph December 1, 1980 with his daughter MacKenzie while in drug rehab at Fair Oaks Hospital in Summit, New Jersey.

Mackenzie Phillips says she’s come to realize that her incestuous affair with her father could never have been consensual.

"I'd like to reframe my word, 'consensual,' " Phillips, 49, told CNN’s Joy Behar in an interview that aired Tuesday.

Last year, Phillips, a former child star on the TV sitcom “One Day at a Time” and the daughter of Mamas and the Papas musician John Phillips, revealed in tell-all tome “High on Arrival” that she’d had a long-running sexual relationship with her father. The affair began the night before her wedding in 1979, when she was a 19-year-old who struggled with drug addiction.

"I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father,” she wrote in her memoir. “Had this happened before? I didn't know. All I can say is it was the first time I was aware of it. For a moment I was in my body, in that horrible truth, and then I slid back into a blackout.”

In her book and on interviews surrounding the release of “High on Arrival,” Phillips has said that the relationship eventually became consensual.

She now believes otherwise.

"As I was writing the book, I thought, this word, it kept sitting wrong with me, but I used it for lack of a better word, and since then I've been schooled by thousands of incest survivors all across the world that there really is no such thing as consensual incest due to the inherent power a parent has over a child," she told Behar. “So, I wouldn't necessarily call it a consensual relationship at this time.”
 

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