By Elizabeth C.
TAKING HER PLACE IN THE PANTHEON OF HOLLYWOOD’S NEGLECTED CHILDREN, Sachi Parker outs actress Shirley Maclaine as a distant self-absorbed mother in a new tell-all released Thursday. And though she stills yearns for an apology, the screen luminary could be on her death bed before she gets it.
“She was very absent. I was very lonely — very lonely. Definitely,” Parker tells 20/20 in an interview that airs tonight. “And I still struggle with abandonment issues and loneliness.”
Lucky Me reveals Parker’s lonely childhood in Japan and at boarding school as well as some of her mother’s more eccentric practices and conversations. For instance, MacLaine, now 78, once insisted that she met extraterrestials on her balcony; that Parker’s “real” father was on a secret government mission into space, and had her sex guru friends coerce her daughter into her first sexual experience at 17.
The star who partied with the Rat Pack allegedly told the guides that it “would be a fabulous opportunity for Sachi, to have her first introduction to sex with all of us here as a support group. We could talk about it afterwards and validate her feelings.”
But MacLaine was head of her times at least in one respect: She once told her daughter, “The government does all kinds of crazy things. Do you realize they have surveillance satellites up there in space that can listen in on any conversation we have earth?” (That doesn’t sound so crazy in our current surveillance state.)
Parker, now 56, says her mother grew “bored” after spending a period of four hours with her, and was so tight with money that she required her to pay back interest on a $500 loan to purchase a car. “My mother was, is, very old-school regarding money and tough love,” Parker tells 20/20.
Parker isn’t the first child to lay bare the scars of being raised by a self-absorbed Hollywood star. The book Mommy Dearest morphed actress Joan Crawford and hanger into a scary Halloween costume. And as Fox reports:
“There’s Dina Lohan of course, who recently tried to explain why her daughter Lindsay Lohan is so “screwed up” (she says Lindsay witnessed her dad abusing Dina, which her father, Michael Lohan, denies). Jennifer Aniston didn’t feel so “friendly” toward her mom after she talked about her famous daughter on TV and wrote a book about her. Candy Spelling slammed daughter Tori as a “middle-aged reality star.” And “Gossip Girl” actress Leighton Meester won a lawsuit against her mom, claiming she sent her little brother money for his medical problems, and her mom spent it on plastic surgery, Botox and hair extensions.“
Now 56 with two teenagers of her own, Parker says she has made peace with her mother’s neglect. “I try to understand her. I find myself wanting to protect her so badly, because I so love her…And yet the pain is very deep. I would hope that she would own it and apologise. That would really, really be wonderful.”
MacLaine, for her part, has released a statement saying she’s “shocked and heartbroken that my daughter would make statements about me that are virtually all fiction. I’ve praised her lovingly and truthfully in my own autobiographies. I’m sorry to see such a dishonest, opportunistic effort from my daughter for whom I’ve only ever wanted the best.”