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Sally Field Felt “Helpless” When Her Stepfather Sexually Abused Her as a Child | “I Never Wanted to Say Out Loud”
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Sally Field Felt “Helpless” When Her Stepfather Sexually Abused Her as a Child | “I Never Wanted to Say Out Loud”

Sally Field revealed her stepfather’s abuse stopped only after she turned 14.

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Theo Wargo

Trigger Warning: This article contains details of child sexual abuse that may be distressing to readers.

Sally Field opened up about the traumatizing sexual abuse she faced in her own family in her 2018 memoir, In Pieces. Her stepfather, Jock Mahoney, a stuntman and actor, known by the nickname Jocko would call her to his room until she was 14 years old. According to The New York Times, Field wrote, “It would have been so much easier if I’d only felt one thing if Jocko had been nothing but cruel and frightening. But he wasn’t. He could be magical, the Pied Piper with our family as his entranced followers.”

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Her mother, actress Margaret Field married Jocko in 1952 and divorced him in 1968. He died in 1989. During the time of the abuse, Field wrote, “I felt both a child, helpless, and not a child. Powerful. This was power. And I owned it. But I wanted to be a child — and yet.” 



 

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The two-time Oscar-winning actress also recalled two other instances of abuse by men in Hollywood. One included an audition with director Bob Rafelson, who demanded she kisses him for her part in the 1976 feature Stay Hungry. Field also said she smoked hash with the singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb and woke up with him having non-consensual sex with her. Field told the NYT that she didn’t feel Webb’s behavior was “malicious.” Both men denied the allegations. Rafelson said Field’s story was “totally untrue” and that he “didn’t make anybody kiss me in order to get any part.” Webb said his relationship with the Mrs. Doubtfire actress was full of “respect,” adding that they “dated and did what 22-year-olds did in the late 60s."



 

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The SAG Life Achievement Award winner also wrote about her romantic relationship with Burt Reynolds and described it as “confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me.” While he was charismatic and their connection was intense the actress described Reynolds as a rather controlling person. Looking back, Field believes she was trying to recreate a version of her relationship with her stepfather. “I was somehow exorcising something that needed to be exorcised,” she said. “I was trying to make it work this time.” The Not Without My Daughter actress also expressed relief knowing Reynolds never had the chance to read her memoir. “This would hurt him,” she confessed. “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.”



 

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Speaking of her memoir she told PEOPLE in 2018, “I have this life that no one really knows… or at least I didn’t even know truly,” she added. “This is incredibly raw and intimate and personal. [The memoir includes] things I never thought I wanted to say out loud.”

Sally Field promotes her book
Sally Field promotes her book "In Pieces" at Barnes & Noble Union Square on September 18, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

 

References:

https://people.com/movies/sally-field-in-pieces-cover-reveal/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/11/books/sally-field-burt-reynolds-in-pieces-memoir.html

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Theo Wargo