Bijou Phillips Has A Tumultuous Relationship With Her Sister Mackenzie

This article contains mention of sexual assault, incest and drug use. 

Bijou Phillips made headlines when she filed for divorce from Danny Masterson after he was sentenced to 30 years to life for rape, but this isn't the first time she's been associated with scandal through her loved ones. Back in 2009, her half-sister, Mackenzie Phillips, shared harrowing details about her incestuous relationship with their father with the world — and for a long time, that created a lot of tension between them. 

Mackenzie left The Mamas & The Papas fans reeling in September 2009, when she revealed in her memoir, "High on Arrival" (via the Daily Mail), that her father, John Phillips, had sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager. She also shared that she and him went on to have a decade-long relationship she believed was consensual at the time. Soon after sharing her truth, however, she was forced to realize that not everyone in her family was thrilled to have it out in the open. Her youngest sibling, Bijou, was one family member to say something. "I understand Mackenzie's need to come clean with a history she feels will help others, but it's devastating to have the world watch as we try and mend broken fences," she told Us Weekly at the time. 

Sure enough, that mending of fences was a lengthy process. In fact, Bijou has been very open about her mixed feelings about her sister's revelations in the past. 

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).

Bijou said learning of the incest ruined her life

While Bijou Phillips first issued a statement on the incest allegations in 2009, she'd known about them years prior. In an interview on "Early Show," Mackenzie Phillips explained that Bijou had heard about it from her mother, Genevieve Waite, and asked her about it. Mackenzie told her younger half-sister it was true. However, she immediately changed her tune when she saw how stressed out the then-13-year-old became. That said, even after backtracking, the revelation had a major impact on Bijou's childhood — and evidently, going public was the final straw for her. Just days after her first statement to Us Weekly, Bijou took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share just how far-reaching the consequences were. 

"Up till that point, I was a normal kid. I got good grades, loved my horse, was pretty innocent," she wrote. However, after learning of the incest, she turned to drugs and refused to speak to her father. John Phillips ultimately sent her to rehab, and they ended up reconciling the year before his death, but she tweeted that she regretted the years of estrangement. That was especially true because of her previous dynamic with John. As she'd shared in her Us Weekly statement, he'd been a hands-on single father to her for most of her life. 

Bijou summed up her X thread by changing her initial stance. "I do not believe my sister," she wrote. 

If you or anyone you know needs help 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).

... but they've made up since then

That Bijou Phillips reneged on her initial support for her older sister is particularly heartbreaking when taking into account that, according to Mackenzie Phillips, they'd always had a close bond. Sure enough, in "High on Arrival," Mackenzie made countless references to Bijou, in particular to how committed she was to being there during many of her troubled times. However, perhaps it was that same closeness that played a role in them reconciling. 

Tumultuous period aside, by 2018, the sisters had made up. Neither has shared any details on how that came to be, but in an interview with AP in August of that year, Mackenzie shared that she was once again close with both Bijou and their other half-sister, Chynna Phillips. And that wasn't just coming from her. Just under a month later, Bijou took to Instagram to share a sweet throwback pic of the two of them, along with the caption, "Love my Seeester!" 

A few weeks later, Bijou shared another post — one which hinted at both sisters healing their relationship not just with each other but with the memory of their dad. The image, which featured a baby Bijou in New York City with John Phillips in the background, had been sent to Bijou by Mackenzie — and the younger Phillips sister made a point of noting that. There's no denying that Bijou and Mackenzie had a tough few years, but it's great to see their relationship has weathered the storm.