"People do what they do. And I don’t understand it and it doesn’t bother me. I can’t waste my time worrying about it."
You might achieve the greatest of success in the spotlight, and have millions of fans yearning for just a few minutes of your attention, but one might say that true achievement in life lies in the way we treat those closest to us. On numerous occasions, onscreen legend Anthony Hopkins has publically dismissed having a relationship with his own daughter and said he "can't waste" his time worrying about it. Each time he's spoken those uncharing words, the legendary actor's daughter was miles away in the UK, feeling hurt in the way her father discussed their lack of a relationship with the press.
The world-famous actor first got married in 1967 to Petronella Barker, and the following year, he became a father to Abigail, according to Biography.
The family tried to stay together despite the couple's differences, and hardships as Hopkins struggled with depression and alcoholism. When Abigail was only 14 months old when Hopkins walked out on his wife and daughter, never looking back.
At the time, their split was tough for the family. But Abigail, who was far too young, barely has any memories of it. "I would see him, but maybe once a year. There is a little bit of sadness but I have to get on with my life. It has always been like that. See him, and then not," Abigail told The Telegraph.
Despite the struggle Anthony Hopkins might have faced, there is no denying that a daughter needs not just her mother, but also her father when growing up. Since her famous father walked out on them, Abigail's communication with Hopkins has been sparse and they even had a falling out after she turned 16.
Years later, when Abigail spoke about her relationship with her father, she mentioned how she dropped out of university at the age of 18 and struggled with substance abuse. "I came very close to killing myself," she said, according to The Telegraph.
"It was the worst time I can remember. I totally abused my mind and body. The root cause was the fact that my father and I had an intermittent relationship when I was young. I was angry and there was a lot of grieving going on... It was a relatively short addiction. I was confused. Angry. And I did not try to kill myself."
Years later, in 2018, the actor admitted that he barely knew anything about his daughter and is not even aware of whether he is a grandfather. What's more is that he didn't seem to care about not knowing whether his family tree has branched out. "I don’t have any idea," the actor told Radio Times when he was asked if he's a grandfather, according to The Telegraph.
The Oscar-winning actor went on to say, "People break up. Families split and, you know, ‘Get on with your life.’ People make choices. I don’t care one way or the other." Soon after the interview with Radio Times, he spoke about his comments to The Times and said, "No, I wasn’t cold. I’m not cold. Her choice is her choice," as quoted by People.
"You know, I did the best I could, but you know, okay, I think if somebody doesn’t want to be part of my life, fine. Go and do whatever you want," the actor said.
"I wish her well and all that, but I don’t want to talk about my daughter. Those things are over... I’ve got no blame. People do what they do. And I don’t understand it and it doesn’t bother me. I can’t waste my time worrying about it. And I’m not cold, I’m just thinking, 'Oh well, that’s the way it is.'"
The Daily Mail previously reported that Hopkins and his only child had not spoken in around 20 years and friends have said, "She is still very hurt by the whole thing. Her relationship with him—or the lack of it—has had a big impact on her life. Every time she tries to move on, she sees him—on film posters, on TV, on the sides of buses. He’s not like any other father. Even though they live on opposite sides of the Atlantic... he is impossible to escape. He has caused her a lot of pain."
Today, Hopkins is married to his third wife, Stella Arroyave, and continues to enjoy his status as a veteran actor.
Meanwhile, his daughter established herself as a musician and has also appeared onscreen.
When The Telegraph asked Abigail if she would ever like to reconcile with her father, she said in 2006, "Possibly. It would have to be a two-way thing, though. I don't know how I would feel about it. We have never really been close. We've never discussed big life issues. Because, well, our relationship was always so sporadic. I've never felt I could discuss those sort of things with him."