Mackenzie Phillips: I Had Sex with My Father

Mackenzie Phillips Admits to Having Sex with Father

Former child star Mackenzie Phillips has publicly dealt with drug addiction, arrests and divorce, but the actress' memoir "High On Arrival" reveals she engaged in an incestuous relationship with her father, John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas.

People reports in the book Phillips recalls the time she had sex with her father on the eve of her wedding to Jeff Sessler. She was 19 and already abusing drugs.

"My father showed up, determined to stop [the wedding,]" Phillips writes. "I had tons of pills, and Dad had tons of everything too. Eventually I passed out on Dad's bed."

"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," she explains.

"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," Phillips adds.

The sexual relationship eventually became consensual. "One night Dad said, 'We could just run away to a country where no one would look down on us. There are countries where this is an accepted practice. Maybe Fiji.'

"He was completely delusional. No, I thought, we're going to hell for this."

Phillips' sister Chynna tells Us Weekly magazine she found out about the relationship after it had ended. "After long nights of heroin use, she's claiming that she once woke up and that my father was on top of her having sex with her," Chynna tells the magazine. "Was he actually raping her? I don't know. Do I believe that they had an incestuous relationship and that it went on for 10 years? Yes."

Mackenzie's stepmother Michelle Phillips, another member of the Mamas and the Papas and mother to Chynna, issued a statement saying "Mackenzie's drug addiction for 35 years has been the result of many unpleasant experiences. Whether her relationship with her father is delusional or not, it is an unfortunate circumstance and very hurtful for our entire family."

"High on Arrival" arrives in stores September 23.

15 Facts about Mackenzie Phillips

Real Name

Mackenzie's birth name is Laura Mackenzie Phillips.

Her Roots

Mackenzie was born November 10, 1959 in Alexandria, Virginia.

Breakout Role

Mackenzie Phillips was first known for her role in the 1973 hit movie "American Graffiti." She began filming at age 12; she was 14 by the time it was released.

One Day at a Time

Mackenzie became a star on the 1975 sitcom "One Day at a Time," co-starring Valerie Bertinelli. As the highest paid actress on the show, Mackenzie was reportedly commanding $47,500 a week.


She says her father John shot her up with heroin for the first time.


Her drug use caused her to be fired from "One Day at a Time" in 1980. She went to rehab that year -- with her father.

Famous Sisters

Mackenzie is the half sister of Bijou Phillips, Chynna Phillips and Tamerlane Phillips.

Chynna Phillips was a member of Wilson Phillips, with Wendy Wilson and Carnie Wilson.

Father Bombshell

In September 2009, Phillips revealed to Oprah that her father, John Phillips of the '60s band the Mamas and the Papas, raped her.

Songs of the '60s

John Phillips (pictured on the left with Mama Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty) and his recording partner Scott MacKenzie co-wrote the 1960s hit "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)."

They also co-wrote the big 1980s hit "Kokomo" for The Beach Boys.

Mackenzie was named after Scott MacKenzie.


Phillips said her father raped her in 1979 on the eve of her wedding to Jeff Sessler, a member of the Rolling Stones entourage. She and Sessler divorced in 1981.

The Mamas and the Papas

She sang in her father's music group, The Mamas and the Papas, when the group made a comeback in the 1980s. It is during this time that she claims their sexual relationship was consensual.

Running Away

In her book, "High on Arrival," Mackenzie claims her father wanted to run away with her.

She writes:

"One night Dad said, 'We could just run away to a country where no one would look down on us. There are countries where this is an accepted practice. Maybe Fiji."

John Phillips died in 2001 of a heart attack at age 65.

Return to TV

Mackenzie returned to TV in the late 1990s, starring in the Disney Channel series "So Weird" as a veteran rock musician juggling motherhood and a career comeback.

Related to the Baldwins

Mackenzie is the sister-in-law of Billy Baldwin. Billy is married to her half-sister, Chynna Phillips.

Recent Struggles

In August 2008, Mackenzie was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport with drugs hidden in balloons and plastic bags. She pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and was sent back to rehab.