Mackenzie Phillips claims she had sex with her father: Will you boycott John Phillips' music?

Mackenzie-Phillips_lMackenzie Phillips is claiming in her new book, High on Arrival, that on the eve of her 1979 wedding she slept with her musician father, John Phillips. “My father was not a man with boundaries,” writes the actress, who is appearing on Oprah this afternoon. “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.”

Singer-songwriter Phillips was, of course, the founder of the Mamas and the Papas who enjoyed an extraordinary run of hits in the late ’60s, including “California Dreamin’,” “Monday, Monday,” and “Dedicated to the One I Love.” He also co-wrote the 1988 Beach Boys hit “Kokomo.” But Phillips had a number of addiction issues which undoubtedly contributed to the patchiness of his post-Mamas solo career and, ultimately, to his demise in 2001 at the age of 65.

Two questions immediately spring to mind: Given that John Phillips is not around to refute this accusation from his own, much troubled, daughter, do you believe her? And, if so, will you ever be able to happily listen to “California Dreamin'” ever again?

More on Mackenzie Phillips’ book:
Mackenzie Phillips details drug use and incest in new memoir

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Photo credit: John:Ralph Dominguez/Globe Photos; Mackenzie: Richard Drew/AP Images

Comments (296 total) Add your comment
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  • erinkate

    Although I wouldn’t put anything past John, he is dead and cannot reply to her charges. I think she is a junkie (sad) who needs money for her legal fees and she sees this as a way to make $$$. That’s all.

    • Kvivik

      While she might be telling the truth, the fact that John is not here to defend himself against the incest allegation makes it hard to think about giving up all of that wonderful music.

      • Gary

        Let the music stand on its own.

      • Winona

        This, 100%.

      • claudenorth

        Agreed. If we rejected all art that was created by anyone whose behavior was less than honorable, we’d be left with very little to enjoy.

      • A

        No one to speak up and say that she’s lying(well except for her step-mother and John’s last wife). Hey, the drugs think she’s telling the truth.

    • Gary

      Good old American Capitalism

      • What?

        To blame capitalism for any of this is childish.

      • God

        Another wonderful product of our educational system.

    • tubeuser

      I agree.

    • Joey Jo Jo

      I once worked on a show a couple of years ago and she was a guest. On her way out the door, blood exploded out of her nose. We all felt bad for her and pretended we didn’t see it as she ran for the sedan we had waiting for her. We all kind of guessed at what she was doing when her dressing room door was closed.

      • Jane

        That’s telling, but still not proof that she’s a liar, just that she’s a user.

      • Joey JoJo

        Agreed, but it also helps you to understand what type of person is making the accusation.

      • Stephen

        “it also helps you to understand what type of person is making the accusation.”

        The kind of person whose father corrupted her when she was young, you mean?

      • KFed

        Exactly, her drug use – and especially the drug use of her father – is entirely wrapped up in her claim. So is the “type of person” she is the type who has had a troubled life she still can’t seem to get past?

      • Sally in Chicago

        Interesting. I suspect she’s broke…and the publisher told her we will give you a contract if you have something salacious to tell us…and there it is…I find it hard to believe.

    • connie

      It is wrong but not shocking as their lifestyle mitigated their actions. She was not a child and both of them were strung out. I am not minimizing this but all things considered what can you expect?

      • Jason

        A relative of mine was caught in bed with her 21 yr old son while they were both Coked out of their minds… is 100% possible, and disturbingly common amongst families that share drugs.
        By the way, if 11 yrs old isn’t a child, then what age is?

      • EEKstl

        Jason, she was 11 when she first tried cocaine but 17 or 18 when she alleges her father raped her.

  • PeterBilt The Nature Boy

    She is a crackhead lookin for some money by spitting on her dead fathers grave. How absolutely horrible of her. She should be beaten with sticks

    • Gary

      So let’s burn some more witches, eh

    • Rock Golf

      So women are guilty until proven innocent? Men innocent even if proven guilty, eh?

      • Matt

        What’s with all the Canadians, eh?

      • Ren

        What about Michael Jackson?

    • JA

      And what a fine, upstanding father he was.

    • shocked

      Sure, just because she is on drugs she “deserved” what happened…not true

    • EEKstl

      Oh, and you were in the room and an intimate part of their entourage so you know exactly what went on?

    • DiMi

      Peterbilt-the-nature-boy needs to go get lost in nature and stay away from women. “Beaten with sticks?” It’s just not funny, and it just shows your contempt for ALL women. Who broke your heart, jerk? Get therapy.

      I don’t know if the exact allegations are true, but the father must have done something pretty awful for her to even consider making this kind of accusation. That makes me believe her.

  • Elizabeth

    Why does anyone need to share that with the public?

    • Gary

      Something wrong with TRUTH if it is true? We are not ostriches…or are we?

      • Callia

        It might be the truth, but it’s truth that’s none of my business, and I wish I could un-learn it.

    • acr65

      I agree. Whether it’s true or not, it’s sad how this kind of thing is always conveniently disclosed when there’s a book to sell or a movie to promote.

      • Marylynn

        I agree. I’m not doubting it happened but maybe that’s just because I would never be able to make up something this horrible. Obviously she’s in recovery and is coming clean. I just don’t think it had to be on Oprah. I know she wanted to put a face on consensual incest.

  • jessica

    I am inclined to agree with erinkate. We’ll never know, since John Phillips can’t defend himself.

    Celebrity tell-alls are nothing but an excuse for mentally unhealthy people to draw attention to themselves for cash. If what she’s saying is true, then she should be working all of this out with therapists, and putting her energy into healing and moving on with her life.

    • Gary

      Isn’t it possible that her therapist advised her to tell all?

      • Rhonda

        Yeah – perhaps he or she has a cut of the book profits.

      • shocked

        Most therapists do advise victims of abuse to talk about it with other’s but not on national television. There is a time, way and place to deal with situations like this; this is not one of them.

      • sammie

        I’m sure her therapist DID advise her to come clean about her life, but probably on the therapist’s couch, not in a published book. My guess is that the accusations are true, but to disclose it now, like this, is ridiculous!

    • MandyB

      However, John may be dead but Michelle is not. I’m sure we will hear something from her, unless she was also too stoned to know what was going on in her own house with her own step daughter.

      • cobagibu

        Michelle had problems of her own with John – hence the divorce. this is why I so love these posts…people who have no real interest in the topic (any of you Mackensie fans) and who will never plan on reading (or watching or listening) the item at hand feel the need to expose there opinion on the issue…viva freedom of speech, but boy does our ignorance and lack of compassion show.

      • cobagibu

        let me clarify – I did not mean that everyone is not a fan or will not plan on reading the’s just typical that’s all

      • k

        1979…he was into his 3rd marriage by then (I believe), so Michelle wasn’t around to see. I have ready articles that Chynna Phillips did not know of this, but believes and supports her sister.

  • harry


  • Kurt

    No, I wouldn’t boycott the music. It has nothing to do with this. Unfortunately, this taints the legacy of the M’s & P’s, and I can’t help but wonder that maybe our society likes to reveal too much at this point. I wish I had never heard about this, but not enough to be outraged, just troubled by it.

    • Jen

      Their legacy is nothing BUT tainted. They were all very screwed up people.

    • crispy

      I’m boycotting their music only because it is awful! It’s like the soundtrack to a yogurt commercial.

      • DW

        Crispy, that is so wrong and yet SO frickin’ hilarious.

  • Jenn

    I heard California Dreamin’ this morning and I felt dirty. I don’t know. The whole thing is crazy.

    • Gary

      Why should you feel dirty? Can you carry the load of it?

      • Rhonda


  • jk

    She goes on to say this was the start to a longterm consenual sexual relationship between the two, so beyond the alleged initial encounter, I don’t know how much sympathy I have for her. It does seem suspicious that she has been in the public eye for decades and never brought this up until had been dead for 8 years.

    • jk

      until her father had been dead*

    • Gary

      Just look at the responses in this list…that should tell you why anyone would not bring it up.

      • jk

        Exactly, that’s why the truth of her story is suspicious to me…

      • Rhonda

        Yes, but she has made other allegations against him over the years, allegations that were not at all complimentary… yet now all of the sudden, this new revelation? Seems suspicious.

      • juju705

        Amen brothah!

    • mscisluv

      I think the fact that she alleges a longterm sexual relationship indicates that this is not for sympathy at all. Otherwise, she would simply blame her father; to me, it looks like she is just telling her story (whatever the motivations for that are).

      • jk

        I agree, I just don’t understand why she would bring this about now.

  • Big Hoss

    I would not boycott his music. I would, however, boycott her new book.

  • Sandy

    Am I supposed to know who this is?

    • Kevin

      If you regularly comment on entertainment websites, then yes, you should. Otherwise, Mackenzie was never really the most famous of the Phillips clan (I only really know her as the annoying “kid” in American Graffiti).

      • Rock Golf

        Did you watch “One Day At A Time”? She was the slightly slutty older sister.

  • BadDay

    She needs to keep this between her and her therapist and out of our view. ICK!!!!!

    • juju705

      Why should she do this for you? Out of site-out of mind? Go back to your tea-party.You can’t handle the truth.

      • betty

        There is a difference between talking about your issues with loved ones to help you get through it, and telling the whole world on national TV. We don’t all need to know her dirty secrets. Why do celebrities feel the need to announce everything to the whole world?

      • shocked

        It’s not a “dirty” secret, it’s an incredibly sad truth, if what she is saying is true but national TV isn’t the place to put it out there. I see this doing more harm than good for other abuse victims.

  • Betha Wa Chulu

    How could she? She was happy about it and I think she enjoyed. What is she claiming now? Did the father make her pregnant. Did she married the day after this? If yes did she confess to her suitor the very same morning?

    She just want her writings to attract attention of many.

    • Ellen

      Suitor? If he was upset did she have to give back the dowry?

      I don’t think it’s as narcisitic and vindictive as most people commenting. I think her continued drug abuse and issues could easily stem from this burden. I think waiting 18 years means that this was not a tell-all because daddy can’t defend but a troubling part of her existence that she labored to suppress at the continued cost of her life. Admitting it had to be one of the most difficult but necessary things she could do to start healing.

      Having said that, I still wish I didn’t know.

      • shocked

        waiting years to admit to anyone an abuse issue is very normal…it took me 28 years to admit to my family something that happened by a family friend when I was 10 years old…hiding a secret like this is very common; but putting this out there like this is wrong on so many levels I can’t even begin to count them.

    • shocked

      she enjoyed being “raped”, as she states the relationship began? It is comments like that that perpetrate the myth that women ask for it. She chose the wrong way to deal with this issue but no woman asks for it when the situation is a rape. That is not a relationship; it is a violent attack on a person.

    • maryann

      i never had sex with my father, i was never raped by anyone, i have never ever been a drunk nor have i taken drugs. her story seemed unbelievable and outrageous and shocking yet for some reason i do believe her. her reasons for telling this at this time are hers.maybe now she can move on.she admits to being sick with drugs and messed up. this is so far beyond my comprehension i would not even begin to judge. i agree with ellen, i wish i didn;t know.

  • Natalie

    There isn’t even a smidge of dry, sarcastic humor or subversiveness in the Sweet Valley books and last time I checked, Cody is all about sarcastic, dry humor and controversy. So how are these two a good match again?

    • Kailin

      Haha….I think you have the wrong article. :)

      • ma


    • s

      I arrived at this “entertainment” site accidentally, and let myself get sucked in. Shame on me. However, the above misplaced response ALMOST made it worthwhile! Hysterical!

  • Mariah

    Won’t boycott the music. Will boycott the book. Not out of some honor to John Phillips, but because I won’t get up in arms about something this insidious that can never be proven true or false.

    • Gary

      Boycott the Bible too! Many scenes of incest therein.

      • Gale

        For instance: Where did Cain’s and Abel’s wives come from?

  • Stephanie T.

    For the record, Mac was once again in rehab for drugs. However, it does not matter if she is or was an addict. John, as much of a talented artist he was, chose a life of music and drugs. It’s a fact. Maybe she is making this molestation thing up, but maybe not? Anyway, she was not the only star to have been influenced by their parents mistakes. Independent film director Robert Downey Sr., Robert Downey Jr.’s father introduced his boy to a life of drugs. Seriously.

    • Gwen

      Well based on the snippets that I’ve heard so far, she’s not even claiming molestation but a consensual long-term relationship, so it’s not like she’d really get sympathy votes from anyone. It’s just throwing one’s dirty laundry out on the front lawn for the whole neighborhood to see, except in the case of famous or even slightly famous people, the neighborhood is all of us, and you get paid for each load of laundry you put on the lawn.

      • shocked

        she is claiming it started a a “rape” and it wasn’t until later it became consensual and if it is true she deserves sympathy but still this is not the way to tell your story; on national TV.

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