"...it was very scary and very painful. And I actually had a physical pain in my heart."
Shirley MacLaine is one of the most accomplished actresses in Hollywood. Everything about her career screams perfection but when it comes to her personal life, things are not very smooth.
The Sweet Charity actress's complex relationship with her daughter Sachi Parker was a secret to the world until her daughter published the autobiography, Lucky Me: My Life With — and Without — My Mom, Shirley MacLaine. The 2013 book disclosed that the mother and daughter did not enjoy a close relationship, according to AmoMama.
In her book, Sachi described the lonely childhood she had and stated that her knowledge of her mother was limited to her screen performances. She watched her movies and saw her incredible talent on screen. But beyond that, Sachi didn't share a deep connection with her mother.
"I would look up, and the in-flight movie would be The Turning Point or another (MacLaine) movie. And it would be a moment that I would find that I could be with her. She was right there. And I would just yearn for her," she wrote. She even told readers that her mother put her on a flight to Japan and left her under the care of flight attendants when she was just 2 years old.
Growing up, the young girl did not see a lot of her mother. Summers and holidays were the only time she saw her, and the little girl craved the presence of her mother. Unfortunately, her wishes never came true.
"I missed her all year. She was very absent," wrote Sachi. She continued, "I was very lonely – very lonely. Definitely. And I still struggle with abandonment issues and loneliness." Sachi further stated that her mother never found joy in spending time with her. According to ABC News, Sachi felt like she became a "burden" to her mother in a matter of hours.
While her mother dedicated all her life to her profession and did not have time for her, Sachi revealed that her father, businessman Steve Parker, was no different. He never supported his daughter. Moreover, he was verbally abusive and lived with a mistress.
Recalling some of the incidents from her sad childhood, Sachi revealed she was once forced to spend Christmas alone. Both her parents failed to show up when she returned home from her European boarding school for the festive holiday. Left alone on Christmas, her classmate's family asked her to join them for a trip. However, the young girl decided to stay back. She thought she would be a burden for them, too. Instead, she stayed with an elderly couple for two weeks.
"I laugh now. But I have to say, at the time it was very scary and very painful. And I actually had a physical pain in my heart," she said.
According to AmoMama, despite being the daughter of wealthy parents, Sachi did a number of odd jobs to get through college. She worked as a flight attendant, a waitress, and even a maid. When she asked her mother for a $500 to buy a used car, her mother loaned her the money and demanded interest payments. "My mother was — is very old-school regarding money and tough love," said Sachi, according to USA Today.
Sachi who is now a mother of two claimed that she tries to understand her mother. However, she admitted it was difficult to forget the wounds of her childhood.
"I try to understand her. I find myself wanting to protect her so badly because I so love her... And yet the pain is very deep. I would hope that she would own it and apologize. That would really, really be wonderful," said Sachi.
She added that the current relationship she shared with the actress was not of a mother and a daughter. "I have to forget she’s my mom, because we can never connect on those terms. She never said she was going to take care of me and be there for me when I needed her. That’s something I came up with on my own. We can’t blame people for being true to themselves... she doesn’t need me, not at all, and she isn’t going to pretend for propriety’s sake that she does. She’s off fulfilling her destiny," said Sachi, according to HuffPost.
Meanwhile, Sachi's truth bombs did not sit well with the actress. She accused her daughter of being dishonest. "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," said MacLaine in a statement to USA Today. She stated it was "a painful moment for me as a mother."