Actress Valerie Bertinelli is relieved her longtime pal Mackenzie Phillips has gone public with her shocking revelations of incest, because she's now free of the pain that has tortured her for years.
The former child star stunned fans and family last month (Sep09) when she revealed she had been raped by her father, The Mamas & The Papas singer John Phillips, on the eve of her 1979 wedding to Jeff Sessler. She admitted the sex eventually became consensual and continued for 10 years.
Phillips' claims have split her family in two, with her former stepmother Michelle accusing her of making up the sensational allegations.
The former Mamas & The Papas singer blamed Phillips' long-running struggle with drugs for making her delusional, saying, "I have every reason to believe it's untrue... MACkenzie has a lot of mental illness. She's had a needle stuck up her arm for 35 years."
The actress hit back at Michelle, claiming she was only "protecting the abuser", and now Bertinelli has spoken out to defend her former One Day at a Time co-star.
Bertinelli says, "She was a very tortured soul. The many years that I've known her, for the first time I see this light coming out of her because she's letting go of all of that pain that's been inside of her.
"It really pains me that people would not believe something coming from her, you know because she had a needle stuck in her arm, but there was a reason the needle was stuck in her arm. So I say, give her grace."