MANILA, Philippines – The latest Barretto family feud came to a head recently, at the wake of their family patriarch, Miguel Alvir Barretto.
Gretchen, who has long been estranged from most of her family members, attended the wake of their father on October 16. President Rodrigo Duterte, who was at the wake, reportedly asked Gretchen to shake hands with her sister Marjorie.
Marjorie refused to do so – and the sisters soon took their battle online, where each of them threatened the other with their versions of the truth.
The fight, while controversial, is not at all surprising, considering the history of strained relationships mostly between Gretchen, Marjorie, and their sister Claudine – the 3 youngest daughters of Miguel and his wife Inday.
Through the years, their feuds have also involved their other siblings and their parents, and their drama has taken more twists and turns than all the teleseryes Claudine reigned over in the late '90s and early 2000s – which, as it turns out, was around the same time the enmity between the Barretto sisters started to brew.
2004: Gretchen vs Marjorie and Dennis Padilla
One of the earliest reported rifts between the Barrettos began in 2004, with a tiff between Gretchen, Marjorie, and the latter's then-husband Dennis Padilla.
Back then, ABC-5, the network owned by Gretchen’s partner Tonyboy Cojuangco, hired Willie Revillame – Dennis’ former co-host in Masayang Tanghali Bayan (MTB).
After Willie’s departure, Dennis was also dropped from MTB, and he reportedly blamed Willie for it. Dennis reportedly confronted Gretchen, and asked her why she helped Willie despite Dennis' then beef against him.
According to Philippine Star's FunFare, their argument led Gretchen to reportedly kick Dennis, Marjorie, and their kids out of the Quezon City house she gifted them – though Gretchen had denied this.
Claudine said that their family had taken Dennis’ side against Gretchen.
Dennis later clarified to Pep in 2007 that their falling out had nothing to do with Willie, but that it started from “a very small misunderstanding” which he didn’t elaborate on.
Dennis also apologized to Gretchen, and expressed his hope that she would reconcile with her parents and siblings.
2006: Gretchen vs Claudine
Still feuding with her family, Gretchen was a no-show at Claudine’s wedding to Raymart Santiago in March 2006.
Gretchen and Claudine reconciled in April 2007, after running into each other at S&R at The Fort, according to Pep. Gretchen also reconciled with Marjorie, who at that time ended her marriage with Dennis.
2009 to 2010: Gretchen vs Claudine again
In April 2010, Gretchen reportedly walked out of a press conference after being compared to her sister, whose drama series at the time launched at exactly the same time as Gretchen’s Maalala Mo Kaya episode.
Gretchen soon after admitted to ABS-CBN News that she and Claudine were not on speaking terms, and that Claudine didn’t respond to Gretchen’s invites to her birthday party in March.
2011: Gretchen and Claudine reconcile
In an interview with StarStudio Magazine published in July 2011, Claudine said that she and Gretchen reconciled in February of that year, when they met unexpectedly at their mother’s condo.
“Now there’s not a day that we don’t talk – if we can’t meet – at least two times a day. I totally see her beauty now. Oh, how much she’s changed! That day at our mom’s condo, I felt she humbled herself, and humbled me as a result,” Claudine said in the interview.
2013 to 2014: Barretto vs Barretto
This is where it gets really messy.
On April 13, 2013, Gretchen and Marjorie teamed up on Instagram to respond to an anonymous basher of Marjorie’s daughter Julia, who was just then starting out as a Star Magic talent.
The two sisters seemed to know the anonymous basher, who hid under the username @btchjuliaisbitch, with Gretchen seeming to imply that the basher was related to Julia.
Replying to a commenter, Gretchen said, “That basher warned us that if Julia enters Star Magic she will do everything to ruin Julia because she claims she is the teleserye princess and will remain that way till the end of eternity.”
On April 24, 2013, their mother wrote a scathing open letter to Gretchen published on Philippine Star’s FunFare, bringing the feud between the sisters out in the open.
In the letter, Inday called Gretchen a liar for saying that Claudine was violent, and that she was out to ruin Julia’s career.
“I am letting go of a child now who never wanted me in order to save one who has always been there for all, and with all of her love, Claudine!” Inday wrote.
The issue escalated so that the other Barretto siblings, Jayjay and Gia, chimed in. Jayjay defended Gretchen, while Gia sided with their mom.
Later on, in October 2013, Gretchen backed Raymart’s claims that Claudine had been confined in the hospital for drug use.
In December 2013, Gretchen testified against Claudine in the latter’s legal battle against Raymart. At the time, the hearing was on the custody of their children, as well as for Claudine’s petition for a temporary protection order against Raymart, who she accused of physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse.
In a counter-affidavit, Raymart accused Claudine of domestic violence, stemming from a history of drug abuse and mental illness – statements supported by Gretchen, Marjorie, and their brother Jayjay.
Shortly after, Gretchen went on an interview with Boy Abunda to talk about the “pain and shame” of being part of a “conflicted and dysfunctional family.”
In the interview, she said that starting to work at a young age (she started doing ads when she was 12) was her way of escaping that life.
In February 2014, a week after Gretchen’s interview, Gia released a statement asking Gretchen to “stop the drama,” saying Gretchen was the one who had put their family to shame.
2015: Claudine and Marjorie reconcile
Claudine attended Julia’s debut in March 2015, where she was photographed with her estranged sister.
In an interview with ABS-CBN before the party, Marjorie said that she appreciated Claudine attending Julia’s party. "It's nice of her to attend, to grant Julia’s wish. It's really nice of her," she said then.
At that time, Julia said that she kept in touch with her aunt, despite the rift in their family.
2019: Claudine and Gretchen vs Marjorie
Meanwhile, Gretchen put herself at odds with Marjorie’s daughters. In March, she defended Kier Legaspi, the faher of Marjorie’s eldest daughter Dani, who at the time recently explained in a vlog why she wanted her mother, not her father, to walk her down the aisle at her wedding.
Gretchen also supported actress Bea Alonzo, who recently broke up with boyfriend Gerald Anderson, after the public accused him of cheating on Bea with Julia.
Julia denied being the third party in Bea and Gerald’s break-up, and Marjorie jumped to her daughter’s defense, even as Gretchen accused her of hiring ghost writers for her daughter’s statements on the issue.
The enmity between the sisters escalated with the alleged altercation at their father’s wake on October 16. The following day, Gretchen released a photo to DZMM TeleRadyo of Claudine in a hospital bed, after a supposed fight with Marjorie that got physical.
Marjorie later took to Instagram to refute her sisters’ version of events, and said that she will be coming out with the truth soon, after their father’s funeral. She also mentioned her sister having a “powerful boyfriend” who will make it dangerous for her to tell the truth – though she said it is not Gretchen’s longtime partner Tony Boy Cojuangco.
Gretchen hit back at Marjorie’s post, calling “Marjorie Baldivia este Echiverrie [sic],” in reference to her rumored relationship with former Caloocan mayor Recom Echiverri.
Gretchen said that Marjorie was the one with the dangerous powerful boyfriend, and that Claudine will reportedly be filing molestation charges against him. – Rappler.com