11:58 AM EDT 07/10/2016


Michelle Phillips

Mackenzie Phillips Seeks to Clarify Incest Issue

Originally posted 09/24/2009 02:30PM

Mackenzie Phillips wants the world to know her father, 1960s musician John Phillips, "was not a bad man, he was a very sick man," burdened by the legacy of his own troubled childhood. Yet the sexual relationship between the two of them that she writes about in her explosive new memoir, High on Arrival, began when her dad raped her at age 19 and was certainly not an "affair," as some media have categorized it.

"He didn't set out to hurt me," the former One Day at a Time child star, 49, told Meredith Vieira on Thursday's Today show. "He did the best with what he had. He was a damaged guy."

While "Papa John" of the Mamas and the Papas group died in 2001 from the effects of alcohol and drug abuse, surviving members of his family – particularly his ex-wife Michelle Phillips – have voiced doubts about Mackenzie's claims in her new memoir, High on Arrival.

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