Oscar-winning actress Sally Field is opening up about being sexually abused and her past dysfunctional relationships for the first time in her upcoming memoir, In Pieces.
The “Gidget” star writes that as a child she was sexually abused by her stepfather, Jock Mahoney, until she was 14. Field spoke to The New York Times about her book, scheduled for a Sept. 18 U.S. release by Grand Central Publishing, in which she details sexual harassment and her relationships.
Field’s mother, Margaret, married actor Jock “Jocko” Mahoney in 1952, a year after divorcing Field’s father. In Pieces opens with Field telling her mother that Mahoney abused her, inviting her into his bedroom for sexual encounters.
“It would have been so much easier if I’d only felt one thing, if Jocko had been nothing but cruel and frightening,” according to an excerpt of the book in The New York Times. “But he wasn’t. He could be magical, the Pied Piper with our family as his entranced followers.”
Mahoney died in 1989 at age 70.
The 71-year-old actress details an encounter with director Bob Rafelson during an audition for her 1976 film “Stay Hungry” in which Rafelson allegedly said he “can’t hire anyone who doesn’t kiss good enough.” Field, who described herself as the “sole support for my family,” wrote that she kissed him. Rafelson denied the allegations to the Times.
In Pieces describes Field’s romances with songwriter Jimmy Webb and actor Burt Reynolds, who died Thursday at age 82. The actress wrote that, after doing drugs one night in 1968, she woke up with Webb “on top of me, grinding away to another melody.”
Field told the Times that she didn’t believe that Webb had any “malicious intent” but that he was merely “stoned out of his mind.” Webb told the Times he had not read the passage but recounted his time with the actress as “what 22-year-olds did in the late 60s — we hung out, we smoked pot, we had sex.”
In describing her relationship with Reynolds, Field told the Times that she “was trying to recreate a version of her relationship with her stepfather.” Field wrote in her memoir that she tried to get Reynolds help for his stress and anxiety. She claimed the actor used Percodan, Valium and barbiturates during their time together.
The actress, who won Oscars for “Norma Rae” and “Places in the Heart,” characterized Reynolds as charismatic and controlling.
“This would hurt him,” Field told the Times. “I felt glad that he wasn’t going to read it, he wasn’t going to be asked about it, and he wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further.”
Read Field’s full interview with The New York Times here.
This story has been updated to specify which publisher will release Field’s memoir in the U.S.
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