Sachi Parker, the daughter of actress Shirley MacLaine and businessman Steve Parker, has written a new memoir, titled “Lucky Me: My Life With — and Without — My Mom, Shirley MacLaine.”
Parker tells ABC News that MacLaine chose being a movie star over being a mother.
“She was very absent. I was very lonely — very lonely. Definitely. And I still struggle with abandonment issues and loneliness,” says Parker.
At the age of two, Parker was sent by MacLaine to live in Japan with her father. She traveled alone while MacLaine stayed in Los Angeles to film “The Apartment” with Jack Lemmon.
MacLaine said in a 1990 interview, “I saw my mother suppress her own creativity. I wasn’t going to let that happen to me. First of all, children pick up on that and they feel guilty about … having been responsible for your not realizing your creativity, so that was not going to happen.”
Parker goes on to detail how she only saw her mother at holidays and in the summer, During the year, she lived with her father, who she says was verbally abusive, and that MacLaine and Parker’s father had an open marriage, with her father keeping a live-in mistress.
She writes about as a teen she was sent to boarding school, and on holidays could bounce around between various homes, like with a classmate’s family or with an elderly couple.
“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,” says Parker.
Eventually MacLaine divorced Steve Parker after finding out he was a con man. And Sachi writes that MacLaine never wanted to help her, charging interest on a $500 loan for a used car and not helping her pay for college, calling her mother “old-school” in regards to money.
“I try to understand her,” says Sachi. “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.”