Photo from Marjorie Barretto's Instagram account
MANILA, Philippines – The Barretto family saga is far from over.
In a TV Patrol interview Tuesday evening, October 22, Marjorie Barretto shared her side of the story following a fight that happened between her and older sister Gretchen during the wake of their father, Miguel Alvir Barretto.
The former actress said she spoke up after "5 years of her being quiet – 5 years of character assassination against me and all of my children."
Marjorie: Sasagot ako ngayon dahil sobra na-- sa pananahimik ko, hindi naman sila nanahimik o napagod. — TV Patrol (@TVPatrol) October 22, 2019
It's quite a doozy – especially because even the history of very public spats within the Barretto clan is hard to track. Here's a quick summary of her "tell-all" interview, which aired on primetime news:
President Duterte's role
As strange as this sounds, President Rodrigo Duterte is a major character is this chapter of the family feud. Duterte wanted to pay his respects to the late Barretto patriarch. But before he arrived, Atong Ang – a rich and influential businessman – had apparently asked one of his children to call Nicole Barretto (Marjorie and Gretchen's niece, and their brother JJ's daughter). She was told that Atong and Gretchen were on their way to the wake and that Nicole and her cousins should leave.
Marjorie told Karen Davila this upset Nicole, who had apparently been Ang's girlfriend of almost 5 years. Marjorie said Gretchen "stole" Atong from Nicole – although she didn't elaborate on this later on. Gretchen has been the partner of another businessman, Tonyboy Cojuangco, for several years.
So when Duterte finally arrived, Marjorie noted, tensions were running high.
Duterte tried to convince the siblings reconcile, but Marjorie refused to do so because she "could see" the "insincerity" of Gretchen. "I know her the most," said Marjorie.
And then tempers flew. Claudine, the youngest Barretto sibling, supposedly shouted at Marjorie: "You are unbelievable! How dare you?"
Duterte himself led Marjorie to safety, the former actress noted. All this happened in front of their father's casket.
Marjorie insisted that she wasn't beyond reconciling with her sister Gretchen. But she added that she didn't want the "fanfare." Marjorie noted that Claudine helped watch over their father while he was in the hospital – but Gretchen didn't. She also added that Gretchen had never invited their parents over to any of her houses.
"Claudine, anong nangyayari sa ’yo? Bakit hindi mo na-convince si Gretchen na bumisita sa Daddy natin nung nabubuhay pa?" Marjorie addressed her younger sister in the interview with Davila. (Claudine, what's happening to you? Why didn't you convince Gretchen to visit our father when he was still alive?)
Marjorie also denied Gretchen's allegations that she had a "nervous breakdown" during the wake. Instead, she said, it was Gretchen who had a breakdown. Marjorie also said Gretchen "beat" Nicole, after Gretchen lunged at their niece.
The former actress also denied Gretchen's allegations that their father's death was triggered by Marjorie's actions – because the younger Barretto allegedly did not invite her own mother to their father's birthday.
"It goes to show that Gretchen does not care about the family at all. My father died of acute respiratory failure due to sepsis, pneumonia. He did not have a heart attack," Marjorie said.
"Don't paint me as the bad daughter, Gretchen," said Marjorie.
She said that if Gretchen had tried to reconcile without the President or cameras in view, she'd be the first to let Gretchen back in. "I would have led her to my father, and I swear that on my children’s lives. I am for reconciliation, just not an orchestrated one," Marjorie added.
Nicole and Atong
Marjorie also criticized Ang for his statements on Nicole. The businessman has said that Nicole was his secretary.
"'Wag naman niyang babuyin 'yung bata. Nakuha na nga niya nang bata si Nicole no'n. They had a 5-year relationship? She was not even, I think, 18. Nababoy na nga eh, nasira na nga reputation ng bata, ide-deny mo pa. Gagawin mong sekretarya mo na lang," said Marjorie, who later asked Ang not to hurt her (Marjorie).
(I just wish she wouldn't disrespect the child. He was with her when Nicole was young. They had a 5-year relationship. She wasn't even 18 [then]. She was disrespected, her reputation was ruined, and you deny your relationship? You say she's just your secretary?)
Marjorie added that Ang was close to the Barretto clan – precisely because he was Nicole's boyfriend. She also said the family was with Nicole "every step of the way" after she broke up with Ang.
'Not a mistress for money'
Marjorie also admitted that Caloocan Mayor Recom Echiverri is the father of her youngest child.
"Hindi ako perfect. I'm very strong in many ways, pero sa pag-ibig talaga mahina ako. Ako'y talagang.... I'm sorry. I'm not proud of it. I'm not perfect. Mali po talaga. I fell in love with a married man," she said.
(I'm not perfect. I'm strong in many ways, but when it comes to love, I'm really weak. I'm very sorry. I'm not proud of it. I'm not perfect. It's wrong. I fell in love with a married man.)
Marjorie also accused Claudine of "setting up" Echiverri – the youngest Barretto had asked for financial help some time before March. Gretchen has since accused Echiverri of molesting Claudine.
'Children not for sale'
"My children are not for sale. I don't even have very much wealthy friends to sell my children to. My children work very, very hard," said Marjorie, addressing Gretchen's insinuations that she was a bad mother and that she was willing to "sell" her children.
Marjorie admitted the narrative was easy enough – because she had been involved with a married man, her children might not be good people as well. "I'm not a mistress for money," said Marjorie.
All in all, the interview took over 18 minutes on ABS-CBN's flagship news program's running time. Anchor Noli de Castro noted that TV Patrol reached out to Atong Ang, but the businessman declined to comment. – Rappler.com