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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Mackenzie Phillips: Sex with my father was not consensual


    Actress Mackenzie Phillips is changing her tune on her long-term incestuous relationship with her father John Phillips, saying the relationship was not a consensual one.

    Last September, Phillips released a tell-all book called “High on Arrival,” in which she detailed her  sexual relationship with her father, a musician from the popular 60’s group “The Mamas and the Papas.” Phillips, now 49, says her first memory of sex with her father was at the age of 19, on the night before her wedding. According to Phillips, it continued for a decade.

    But in an appearance on HLN’s “Joy Behar Show” Tuesday, Phillips rescinded her claims that the relationship was consensual.

    SLIDESHOW: Mackenzie Phillips

    “I’d like to re-frame my word consensual,” she said. “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 of a word. 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. So I wouldn’t necessarily call it a consensual relationship at this time.”

    “I took a lot of responsibility in ‘High on Arrival’ because I was trying to preserve my father’s memory for some reason, which is also a very typical thing you’ll find survivors doing,” Phillips told Behar.

    Echoing her sentiments was her doctor, Drew Pinsky, who treated Phillips for substance abuse on the show “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.”

    “The child is trying to make sense of this situation and the only way she can survive it is by saying, ‘I’m creating it … I’m consenting to it,” Pinsky said. “When the fact is, the kind of relationship a parent has with a child makes consent actually impossible.”

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