Published February 12, 2013
Shirley MacLaine’s daughter, Sachi Parker has written a memoir about growing up with the legendary actress. Her roller coaster saga began when she was sent to live with her father, Steve Parker, in Japan. The book goes onto to recount an often difficult and painful relationship with both parents.
When Sachi was in her late twenties, she learned that her mother believed that her father Steve was not her real father but a clone of the real one, an astronaut named Paul. For years Steve had conned MacLaine into paying him up to $60,000 a month for “Paul’s space travel expenses.”
MacLaine has come out to deny this, telling FOX411 in a statement: "It's a painful moment for me as a mother and as someone who values the truth. I'm 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."
But Sachi stands by her story about this and the other shocking behavior, all recounted in ‘Lucky Me.’ Parker, 56, spoke to FOX 411 about the book.
FOX 411: How is your relationship with your mother now?
Sachi Parker: I would love it to be great. I always have. I gather that she’s struggling with hearing the truth.
FOX 411: So you’re not talking?
Parker: No. I sent the book. As a matter of fact, I sent her the first copy that I received from the publisher. That was about a month ago. I have not received any reply.
FOX 411: Your mother withheld money and she also withheld affection.
Parker: The withholding of money was probably a positive because it made me so strong. I could be anywhere in the world and be just fine.
FOX 411: But it’s pretty unusual for a parent who can afford it refuse to pay for college.
Parker: Well, I think so. That would have been nice. I would have loved to have gone to college and hopefully I still will I think the withholding of affection was the thing-- that was very difficult and I still want it. But I’m finding that’s something that I’m struggling to let go of, holding onto the hope of getting that. I’m getting there. I’m really getting there. I think the writing of this book is helping me to let go of that past actually.
FOX 411: So your mom sent your dad, who she believed was a clone, money every month.
Parker: Yes, for space travel.
FOX 411: Weren’t you angry?
Parker: I wasn’t furious. I was incredulous. That was her business and her belief and her money. However I was raised to not feel deserving of any of it anyway. I felt so bad for her. I was angry at my father. He not only stole all her money but more than anything he betrayed the love. She was truly the victim. He did a real fine con job on both of us.
FOX 411: Your mother actively sabotaged you getting a role in a film as her daughter. Why?
Parker: That’s the thing: Why would she offer to help in the first place? Why even bring it up in the first place? That was very not ok.
FOX 411: Why do you think she sent you away to live in Japan?
Parker: She must have given it a lot of thought. She was conned by my father. Hollywood is not the best place to raise a child. I feel quite lucky that I was raised in the Japanese culture. I’ve met a few Hollywood offspring and you know what? It’s not the best culture for a kid so I think it was a really great decision on her part.. It’s complicated.
FOX 411: Was this difficult to write?
Parker: It was very difficult to get started. However once I got started it flowed. It was a wonderful feeling every day. The floodgates were opened.
FOX 411: Why did you write it?
Parker: It was time in my life to write it and put the pieces of the puzzle together and finally have a lot of questions answered. I think the process of writing this story was extremely cathartic.
FOX 411: Do you honestly think [your mother will] speak to you after this? Don’t you think she’ll feel betrayed?
Parker: I’m sorry if she’ll feel hurt but that was not my intention to hurt her. I just wrote my story. These are my memories. I wrote about my life. I spoke the truth. She taught me to do that. Writing this book made me face the truth. There was so much mystery. It’s too bad that that’s the truth. I wish it weren’t the truth but it is.