The Troubled Life Of Bijou Phillips' Half-Sister Mackenzie

This article includes mentions of sexual assault and substance use.

As of late, Bijou Phillips' relationship with Danny Masterson has garnered increased attention in light of her husband's prison sentence. But Bijou isn't the only member of her family that has faced scrutiny. Bijou's half-sister, Mackenzie Phillips, was once a media magnet, as the former child actor had her share of trouble. After starring in the coming-of-age film "American Graffiti" at age 12, Mackenzie later gained recognition for her role in the '70s sitcom "One Day at a Time." Despite Mackenzie's stardom and success, the actor's younger years were marked by major instability. From her drug addiction to her inappropriate relationship with her abusive father, Mackenzie has had some incredibly tough times.

Mackenzie eventually took steps to overcome her addiction. In 2019, she talked to Variety about her sobriety journey and her work as a counselor at a rehabilitation center. "I get to do a lot of things, but I am very mindful of sticking close to my own recovery program, my job at Breathe and my family," she shared. Mackenzie's recovery was a long time coming, as the actor started experimenting with drugs at a very young age.

Mackenzie Phillips had numerous legal run-ins

In an appearance on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" Mackenzie Phillips revealed she was just 11 years old when she first tried cocaine. She further explained, "I come from a long line of undiagnosed mental illness, rampant addiction, and alcoholism. So, there's the genetic component. And then there's the introduction to these types of behaviors at a very young age." Phillips was a late teenager when she was found in a semi-conscious state on the street and impaired by drugs, according to a 1978 People report. She was arrested for disorderly conduct and placed on six months probation. The actor's substance use had a major impact on her career, as she was fired twice from "One Day at a Time," according to Variety.

In August 2008, Phillips hit another low when she was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine and heroin at LAX, Today reported. A couple of months later, she pleaded guilty to the charge. According to Phillips, the incident marked a turning point for her. At her hearing, she said, "I want to thank the Los Angeles Police Department and the Airport Police for stopping me; they saved my life." The charge was dropped following her completion of a drug diversion program, USA Today reported in 2010. Her attorney Blair Berk stated, "Mackenzie deserves great credit for seizing the opportunity she was given to get clean and prove she was worthy of the dismissal of her case."

Mackenzie Phillips' disturbing claims about her father

A year after her airport arrest, Mackenzie Phillips published her memoir "High On Arrival," which disclosed disturbing alleged details about her father, John Phillips, leader of folk-rock group The Mama & the Papas. In the book (via People), Mackenzie revealed that her dad had sex with her. She described an incident that occurred in 1979, writing, "On the eve of my wedding, my father showed up, determined to stop it. I had tons of pills, and Dad had tons of everything too. Eventually I passed out on Dad's bed." She painted a clear picture of her dad, adding, "My father was not a man with boundaries. He was full of love, and he was sick with drugs. I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father."

Mackenzie recalled her father's alarming response to the incident in an interview with Oprah Winfrey (via ABC News). She shared, "After the first experience, I went to my father and said we need to talk about how you raped me. My dad said: 'Raped you? Don't you mean made love?' In that moment, I thought, 'I'm really on my own here.'" Mackenzie and John's sexual relations continued for years, including during her marriage with Jeff Sessler. Mackenzie and John ultimately stopped having sex when she learned she was pregnant, as she was worried the baby was her dad's. Mackenzie got an abortion, which John covered the cost of.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).