Sally — who grew up with her older brother, Rick, and younger half-sister, Princess — once described herself as “a little stress case with a brand-new family and a constant stomachache that no one could explain.”
The Mrs. Doubtfire‘s alcoholic mother divorced Sally’s father, Dick Field, when Sally was four years old. Just one year later, she remarried to Jock Mahoney. However, her stepdad began sexually abusing her when she was a teenager, which she chronicles in her new book.
“We didn’t have a real easy childhood,” Rick, 74, acknowledges to Closer in the magazine’s newest issue, on newsstands now. “[Jocko] was not a very nice man.” He added, “I would try to protect her. We basically had to define our own path.”
That time was especially confusing for Sally since she couldn’t fully understand Jock’s behavior. “It would have been so much easier… if Jocko had been nothing but cruel,” she confessed. “But he wasn’t, he could be magical. He loved me enough not to invade me. He never invaded me.”
However, it’s unclear whether or not their mom, who died in 2011, fully understood what was happening, and Sally once said, “There were times when I longed to have her explode in a fury.”
But now, Sally has taken all of those buried emotions (as a child, she said “emotions were not really allowed at the dinner table… or anywhere”) and put them into her own writing. “Something was growing in me, this urgency that felt gangrenous,” she said. “In Pieces is about the little girl that I was, about the teenager who backed into becoming a celebrity and about the craft that taught me to stand on my feet.”
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