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JOY BEHAR SHOW
Memories of Michael Jackson; The Legendary Harry Belafonte
Aired October 14, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Coming up on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, Grammy winner Patti Austin reflects on her 30-year friendship with Michael Jackson and the demons that plagued the king of pop.
And did Michael Jackson`s kids witness their father`s drug use? Joy talks to Mackenzie Phillips whose dad was a drug user, about the impact that has on a child`s development.
Plus Harry Belafonte tells Joy about going from a poor Jamaican boy to one of America`s most iconic civil rights pioneers.
That and more starting right now.
JOY BEHAR, HOST: As the Conrad Murray trial continues, a picture of Michael Jackson as a deeply troubled potentially drug-dependent man emerges. But was that the way he appeared to people who knew him well? Here to talk about their memories of Michael are Patti Austin, Grammy winning singer who knew Michael Jackson for 30 years; and another long time Michael Jackson friend, Flo Anthony. Welcome ladies, to the show.
Patti, you worked with Michael multiple times over the years. What do you remember best about him?
PATTI AUSTIN, SINGER: His energy, is Eveready, bunny, hummingbird, never stop energy. He was always on fire, always a perfectionist, always tremendously professional. Very silly, in private moments. Yes, very silly. Had a very silly sophomoric sense of humor. Loved to jump out from behind doors and scare me.
He loved me because I scare very easily. And he would -- whenever I would heading for the studio and he knew I was coming in the door, he`d always be behind the door a little bit further down the hall and he`d jump out literally and do, you know, like boo. And I would always jump and it just made his day.
BEHAR: Yes, he was a practical joker, kind of, right?
AUSTIN: Very much so, absolutely.
BEHAR: And Flo, you met him at Disney World?
FLO ANTHONY, FRIEND OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Yes, in the late `70s. It was actually Mike, Latoya, Janet and Randy and their bodyguard, Bill Bray.
BEHAR: And what was he like away from the spotlight? Did you ever meet "Bubbles" the chimp?
ANTHONY: No. But I know wild stories about Bubbles. He wasn`t always a nice little chimp when he first got there. He threw dishes and things from the chandeliers and everything. And so they called in someone and they told Michael, this is almost animal abuse. You have to feed him banana chips, not McDonald`s and put him in a diaper? So I never met Bubbles.
But you know, Patti is right. You know, Michael was a prankster, infectious smile, sweet wonderful personality all the time.
BEHAR: Patti, what was his relationship with his family like?
AUSTIN: Well, when I knew Michael, the relationship was not great. He got along great with his sisters but did not speak fondly of the guys in the family.
AUSTIN: There was -- he always -- the conversations that we had, he always felt kind of put upon because at the time that I met Michael, it was right when he was doing "The Wiz" and he wasn`t even speaking at that time. Michael used to literally sit in the studio with a pad and paper -- I mean with a pad and pen. If he`d hear somebody say something remotely intelligent, he would write it down. He was always trying to learn and absorb anything that he thought was intelligent.
AUSTIN: So he was very, very quiet; very, very shy, frighteningly shy. We didn`t really start working together until "The Dude", until Quincy Jones` album, "The Dude". That`s when I started talking to him.
And a lot of our conversations were about his relationship with his family. He adored his mother. He adored his sisters. But at that particular time, he didn`t have the greatest relationship with his brothers or with his dad because he was -- he was really trying to branch out on his own. He was trying to break away from the Jackson 5 and break away from what that was. So he kind of felt that that was holding him back from being all that he ultimately became and wanted to be. He worked very hard to become that.
BEHAR: Flo, was he afraid of his father?
ANTHONY: When he was a kid, I don`t think he was ever as afraid of Mr. Jackson as the other boys were. They would stand there and take punishment. I`m a kid born in the `50s. We got punished; we really did with a belt, my mother say, go get the switch. That`s what happens to black children. Your parents took nothing.
Michael would run from him. He really kind of, you know, was a little more daring than the rest of the guys.
BEHAR: I think he used to get hit, though.
ANTHONY: If he caught him but he would actually run from him and stand up and say smart things and tell him no.
BEHAR: But as an adult, do you think he liked -- did he love his father?
ANTHONY: Yes. He loved his father very much. And in the end, when they were preparing to go to London and Michael saw the contracts and things weren`t right, he called his father to come in and negotiate with AEG for him.
BEHAR: Well, I`m sure he felt that his father was a strong negotiator, good manager.
ANTHONY: But I mean he loved his father.
BEHAR: Patti, you say that Michael was a troubled soul who internalized his grief. What do you mean by that?
AUSTIN: Well, you know, Michael didn`t really -- I don`t think he really talked that much about all of the pain that he felt to that many people.
He would talk to me about it because we were working. And I think when you have a working relationship with somebody it`s almost closer than if you`re having a sexual relationship with them, if that makes any sense. You have a tendency, you become -- when you`re working on an album or you`re touring together, you have a tendency to become like a family. And you spend a lot of time on buses and a lot of times waiting in a studio to get back in and actually do your work, so you talk about things.
BEHAR: What was troubling him. Go ahead. What was troubling him?
AUSTIN: Just his childhood really troubled him. He felt that he lost his childhood, which is why so many of us that knew Michael always said he suffered from Peter Pan Syndrome. You know, he wanted to be forever young and he did a lot of chid -- he acted out in a child-like way a lot because he didn`t get to have that when he was a kid.
He felt -- I mean these are the discussions I had with him. I don`t know what he said to anybody else. But he told me many times that he felt that he had been robbed of his childhood.
AUSTIN: He loved the fact he was able to become a great entertainer, but he also at the same time, it was a love-hate thing. He hated the fact that he lost his childhood in the process. And I started in the business when I was a kid so this is a conversation we used to have a lot. I started when I was four.
BEHAR: You know Flo, you do say that the molestation trial that he had, had a profound impact on Michael. Tell me about that. How did that hurt him?
ANTHONY: It totally broke his spirit, Joy. Especially the second accusation where he was actually arrested and he was in court and on trial and he faced going to prison. It totally broke his spirit.
And when the district attorney`s office came in, they totally wrecked his house, they tore paintings off the wall, threw around gold coins. He never actually lived in the main house again after that. He`d stay in one of the guesthouse because it was too painful for him to go into the house.
And I just wanted to add, with his childhood aside from I know having to perform and wanting to play was one thing. But I think he also, even though he was a devout Jehovah`s Witness and believed in his religion, he really always talked about the no Christmas and the no birthdays and would even sneak over to his brother Jackie house because his wife, Ynes (ph), put a Christmas tree up. Those are some of the things he missed about having a childhood, also.
BEHAR: Before we go, I just want to bring one more thing up, Flo, because it came out in court this week that Michael really did have what they call vitiligo.
ANTHONY: Vitiligo. Yes, he did.
BEHAR: Vitiligo and he had tattoos on his lips, on his eyes, on his scalp.
ANTHONY: Well, that was the color. The pink color was tattooed on. I believe the eyeliner was tattooed on and also to darken the eyebrows, it was tattooed on.
BEHAR: So I`m not really clear on how that works.
ANTHONY: Well, he didn`t have to wear makeup, that`s how that worked, with the lips and his eyes and everything.
BEHAR: What did he do? His skin was spotty?
ANTHONY: Yes, it`s spotty. Vitiligo is when your skin starts turning white. And so, he was just --
BEHAR: So how did he get it to match?
ANTHONY: Well, he used creams to even it out so he would still be able to perform and not look scary or anything to people.
BEHAR: I see. Ok. Thanks, ladies, very much. Thank you, Patti.
And a quick note, Patti Austin`s new album "Sound Advice" is available now. We`ll be right back. She`s a great singer. Great.
BEHAR: The great Harry Belafonte went from an impoverished childhood in Harlem and Jamaica to one of the most successful actors and singers of all time. Let`s listen.
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BEHAR: He`s great but even more important is his life-long continuing work fighting for civil rights and social justice. Please help me welcome the author of "My Song" and the subject of an HBO documentary, singer Harry Belafonte.
I tell you I watched this movie and I was riveted to it. I was touched by it. The years you have spent on this earth have been as well spent, Mr. Belafonte. You did not waste a minute.
HARRY BELAFONTE, SINGER: I tried not to.
BELAFONTE: I tried not to. It`s been a good life.
BEHAR: It`s been a great life for you. I mean it was -- it`s been a life well spent. Not like I wasted time. You did not waste a minute. Fantastic.
When you look back on your childhood in Harlem and Jamaica, what do you think? Look where you started to where you are here today?
BELAFONTE: One would have thought with such an introduction into life, the prognosis wasn`t looking very good. Both from the point of view of my parents coming from the Caribbean and my growing up there, although I was born in New York and the prospects of the depression and living in poverty and all the things people know about when you`re caught in that kind of social vice.
For a long time, I had great difficulty trying to find my equilibrium just as a person, as a child. I suffered from a severe case of dyslexia, which is not even known at the time, there was no such term.
BEHAR: I guess they just thought you were not performing? Right.
BELAFONTE: Exactly. They felt that I continued to live and to behave way below expectation. But I had this problem. It taunted me deeply. As a consequence, I left high school in the first term, went off to enlist in the Second World War in the United States Navy. It was right after that I stepped back into life in an adult way and good fortune began to put opportunity before me.
The coincidences of the people that I met and the people that reached out me and mentored me helped give me a vision as to what my new life could be if I would just heed their example and follow the rules.
BEHAR: Did you get the bug to act when you were in World War II? Was it during that time?
BELAFONTE: I tell you, I was a janitor`s assistant, garbage hauler. One day, working on an apartment, a problem in an apartment, a tenant asked me to come up, her name was Clarice Taylor. Clarice Taylor`s significance in the world beyond being a marvelous human being was that she played Bill Cosby`s mother in his series.
BELAFONTE: "Cosby Show". She was the tenant, asked me to come up and fix a venetian blind. I did. She gave me two tickets to the American Negro Theater as a gratuity. I knew about the theater because I had been to the Apollo so often and heard about the big theaters down on Broadway, the Paramount and Roxy. But I never knew about legitimate theater. I never knew about theater with drama.
I took the tickets with a great sense of curiosity. When I got to the theater, it was called the American Negro Theater; it was in the basement of a library, the public library. I had, I think, my first real epiphany. I just don`t know what it was that overwhelmed. So when I saw the actors and I saw the magic of the lights and the theater.
But most importantly was the power of the words and the capacity for those words to move so many people emotionally from moment to moment struck me as something that was most, most desired and most desirable. So I began to pursue it until I was offered a part, and I`d play this part in an Irish play by the name of "Juno and the Peacock", written by Sean O`Casey.
At that night, there happened a great moment. Paul Robes (ph) walks in. He was the icon for all black example, a man of enormous intellect, graduated from Rutgers University. He was a great actor, had just done Shakespeare fellow on Broadway and in England. He came and saw our little play in the basement. He stayed with the actors and actresses afterwards.
In talking to us, he let us know we had embarked on a really marvelous adventure, what the theater could be about from his perspective and this indelible moment had Ruby D., had Ozzie Davis, Sidney Poitier, myself sitting there -- all young upstarts and here was this young icon.
When he spoke, I think my mission had been set, this is where I would be the rest of my life. We had no way to study at the American Negro Theater, so I went to the new school of social research. They had just opened up a new drama school. We had a professor from Germany, Max Rinehart Theater. He was very close to Berthold Brecht period and he taught social theater and it just overwhelmed us.
My classmates were Marlon Brando, Walter Matthau, Tony Curtis, Rod Steiger, Bea Arthur, of whom you remind me of.
BEHAR: Bea Arthur? I remind you of Bea Arthur
BEHAR: I don`t know how to take that Harry.
BELAFONTE: Take it in the same way. She said the same thing when I told her she reminded me of you.
BEHAR: You know, it`s change from Bette Midler, anyway.
BELAFONTE: Not bad either. But Bea was our anchor. She was our --
BEHAR: What was it about -- what was it about those people. I mean Poitier and Brando for example? So charismatic, the two of them. They just -- they walk into a room and the same with you, some people just walk into a room and the lights go up and some the lights go down. But these guys, you know, you really -- you and the two of them, I would think off the top of my head, maybe Paul Newman, there`s a few, Cary Grant, just have it.
BELAFONTE: I don`t know that I can put my finger on the preciseness of all that. I just know that there was a time in which we lived was motivated by so much in life that was so good and so powerful. We seemed to have had -- every day we had a mission, something to change, something to fix, a better play to do, finding room for each other`s lives and making ourselves worthy of the journey.
BEHAR: I think we`re in that moment in time again in this culture.
Let`s get to that in a minute. We`re going to take a break. We`ll be back with Harry Belafonte after this.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight.
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BEHAR: That was a look at a clip from the HBO documentary on Harry Belafonte called "Sing Your Song". And Harry is with me still.
You know, people think it`s a long time ago that Martin Luther King was killed. To me, it feels like yesterday. It doesn`t seem that long ago. And the whole civil rights movement and Lyndon Johnson, that whole period still resonates, I think, with people who were around at that time.
Now, you have Obama, President Obama in the White House, and a lot of people say it`s a post-racial time because we now have an African-American president. Do you agree with that?
BELAFONTE: Well, as a student of history I was once reminded of the fact that the end of slavery was the post-racial period then, too. I`m not quite sure what people mean by post-racial. It means you`re no longer black or you`re no longer white or after a period of great struggle only to be greeted by new struggle and new goals and new things to be fixed?
Certainly, with slavery, one would have thought that that ended all dealings with issues of race. But, no, we went into a century of segregation, the most cruel laws and we had to defend ourselves and fight to overcome those things. Then we went through the great upheaval of Adolph Hitler and the real vision of what white supremacy really meant in its crudest and most cruel sense. We had to deal with that. We came back and had to then fight a new post-racial period, which was segregation and Dr. King and all the things that went on during the civil rights movement.
BEHAR: Now, let me interrupt you for a second. Now, you have someone like Herman Cain.
BEHAR: Herman Cain.
BELAFONTE: Herman --
BEHAR: You know who he is. He doesn`t believe that racism holds anyone back in any way now. I mean, you know, what do you think about that statement?
BELAFONTE: Well, you know, it`s very hard to comment on somebody who is so denied intelligence. Certainly, someone who is as denied a view of history, such as he reveals, he knows very little. Because he happened to have good fortune hit him, because he happened to have had a moment when he broke through; the moment someone blinked does not make him the authority on the plight of people of color.
If black people are not having the worst time of it, all you need to do is take a look at the prison system. We have the largest prison population in the world, largest members of that population are black and people of color.
You take a look at the unemployment, the largest percentage of those unemployed, go on down the line and find all the things that tell you black people aren`t exactly having the best time of it.
BEHAR: He also says if you don`t have a job and you`re not rich, blame yourself.
We`ll be right back with more from Harry Belafonte in just a minute.
BEHAR: In the `50s, Harry Belafonte was a matinee idol, in the `60s, civil rights leader and then the `80s, he fore hunger in Africa and came up with idea for "We Are the World." watch this.
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BEHAR: OK. I`m back with Harry Belafonte. You know you`re saying how young everybody is. It feels like we just did this yesterday. I`m really starting to get crazy because the time is going by too fast now.
BELAFONTE: Let me make one quick observation and move on with you. I just want to make this observation about Herman Cain. The Republican party, the tea party, all those forces to the extreme right have consistently tried to come up with representation for what they call black, what they call the real Negroes and try to push these images as the kinds of voices America should be looking to. They got Condoleezza Rice. They got Colin Powell. They`re humorous for some people but for a lot of us not. And Herman Cain is the latest incarnation what is totally false to the needs of our community and the needs of our nation. I think he`s a bad apple and people should look at his whole card and I don`t think he`s what he says he is.
BEHAR: NO. I don`t think he has a prayer anyway as the election action.
BELAFONTE: I don`t think prayers were created for him.
BEHAR: You know, as I`m watching that video of "We Are the World," I`m thinking about Michael Jackson because we`re now covering a lot about Michael Jackson`s life on this station and others because of the Conrad Murray trial. And a lot of stuff is coming out about him and his drug addiction and his sad little life in a certain way you know.
Do you think that all of this information that`s coming out will tarnish his legacy? Because he was a great, great performer as we all know.
BELAFONTE: This is the culture in which we live. Everything is instant and everything is swiftly forgotten, all that applies to this moment about Michael. What will be remembered about Michael is we are the world, thriller. All the myriad of songs and performances he did that inspired so many. That, he was the icon of the moment and in his time and the legacy he left will be long remembered for his music and not for the encounters and false moments he may have had in some deviant moment in the path of life.
Michael was a sweet kid and had a very bad time growing up, family, pressures on them. I`m surprised any of them turned out to be in any way articulate. But they really handled it well and they gave us a great gift is what they`ve given us artistically. And pretty soon, people will just linger on that. This other stuff.
BEHAR: It will go away.
BELAFONTE: Has to.
BEHAR: OK. Let`s talk about Obama for a second, the president. How do you think he`s doing?
BELAFONTE: I believe that given what he is about, he`s handling it as well as he can. But he`s not handling it as well as many of us had hoped and expected. I think there`s no question about his intelligence, his gift for and the way in which he articulates his vision.
What I do think is that there`s a difference between the intellectually empowered which is important and being able to lead. And I think where he has been stunned by the opposition is that what they threw at him was highly unexpected. First of all, the hugely deficient economy, all that went wrong with that and the banks, et cetera. But -
BEHAR: In what he was handed? And what he was handed from the previous administration. Yes.
BELAFONTE: Yes. That`s what I should have said. What is really sad is that he has more strength than he really understands. I think when he finds his moral compass, which is what I think went askew, I think a lot of things he doesn`t need the Congress to do, a lot of things he can do by the power of the office and the power of his presence. He could lead people to wherever he wants them to go.
BEHAR: Do you think he`s going to be a one term president like the right wing is predicting.
BELAFONTE: Well, considering what they`re coming up with the opposition, I hope he`s a 10 term president.
BEHAR: I mean, so far, they`ve got nothing.
BELAFONTE: I hope it stays that way.
BEHAR: Yes. But George Clooney said something interesting. He said that if he was a Republican running, they`d be selling him as the guy who stopped 400 jobs a month from leaving the country. They`d be selling him as the guy who saved the auto industry, if they had the beliefs, selling him as the guy who got rid of "don`t ask, don`t tell," who got Osama bin Laden. Those are very good things in the past three years that he has accomplished and yet it seems like the Democrats don`t cut him any slack for it and don`t push him that way. I agree with George Clooney.
BELAFONTE: What you didn`t ask me, what was the worst circumstance of all going on politically? And I think the worst circumstance going on politically is what the Democratic Party is not doing.
Quickly, I`ll tell you the story, Eleanor Roosevelt was a mentor and friend told me about a night when she gave a dinner party for a man named Phillip Randolph, a great black labor leader. Come to the White House, meet my husband. They talked. Roosevelt encouraged him to say what was on his mind. So, he discussed the state of the union and state of black affairs. And at the end of all, he charged Roosevelt was not using his power as clearly as he should. Roosevelt said to him, I agree with everything you say to me, Mister Randolph. There is nothing I can disagree with. But I intend to move forward. In moving forward I ask you to do me one favor.
And he said, what is that?
And he said I want you to go out and make me to do everything you said I`m not doing. And I think that legacy is what Barack Obama did not inherit. When the Kennedys were in office, they had Vietnam, the campuses of America, the black movement, women`s movement, Native Americans, everybody was in motion. That motion does not reflect itself except just starting now down on Wall Street.
BEHAR: What do you think of those people down there?
BELAFONTE: I quell.
BELAFONTE: I just think it is absolutely incredible how those young people are revealing their time in their way. And I think we`re coming back on the right path. I think the pendulum is swinging. I think we should all be optimistic what can happen and just make sure that those bums on the right don`t sneak through the gate.
BEHAR: Well, I fell for them also, you know, because I really think it brings me back to -
BEHAR: Yes. Well, listen. You suggested (ph) it -- they don`t call you Heshy (ph) Belafonte for nothing.
BELAFONTE: How about that?
BELAFONTE: How about that?
BEHAR: But you know, I think that it reminds me of the days of the Vietnam war when we all got out there and marched for something because the people have to have a way to express themselves and really tell the president and tell the Congress, look, we`ve had enough, we`ve had enough. And I think that they`re doing it. And I just think, it`s great and hope it picks up more steam.
And you know what I would say for the tea party, mazel tov to them also, because the tea party in another way is also expressing themselves from a grassroots position. And even though I don`t happen to agree with what they`re doing or saying, I still say, good for them.
BELAFONTE: Well, you can say mazel tov and I can say muzzle (ph) tov (ph).
BEHAR: Muslim tough?
BELAFONTE: Muzzle (ph) them, keep them quiet.
BEHAR: Who, the tea party?
BEHAR: Well, you know they have something to say too. You know originally, they were against Wall Street too and then they switched it around and all became about their taxes. So, you know maybe they can see the light again and maybe the people down on Wall Street and the tea parties will come together. No?
BELAFONTE: As a man committed to peace, I think coming together is the best of all human conduct. But sans that, without that -
BEHAR: Now, you`re speaking French, oh, my God.
BELAFONTE: That`s pure Yiddish. But I think that sans coming together, we have to be very, very visual vigilant.
BEHAR: Vigilant, yes.
BELAFONTE: Vigilant on the issue what`s happening to America and where all this is going. Never has the extremes between rich and poor been as indelible as they are at this moment. And I think the people have just got to understand that one thing missing from Barack Obama is the fact there`s nobody behind him to push him. As much noise as the tea party has made -
BEHAR: Well, maybe there is now.
BELAFONTE: We have to make it now.
BEHAR: That`s true.
BELAFONTE: Think that`s what`s coming.
BEHAR: That`s true. Do I have time to ask you to just tell me that story about jumping in the pool in Las Vegas back in the `50s, was it, the `50s, when blacks were not allows to swim in the pool much less be in the hotel where white people were. I don`t think people can relate to it now. Just tell us the story really quickly because I`m running out of time but I love it.
BELAFONTE: Even though I was headlining, I could not eat in the ding room, go in the swimming pool, those were the rules. And I decided to defy that. So, I got up the very next day, dressed in my swimsuit, walked downstairs to the swimming pool. And I think they didn`t know what to do. They didn`t know how to do it. They didn`t expect this to happen. And I got on the diving board and I looked around and kind of smiled at the universe, took a nice dive into any water.
BEHAR: I hear it was a magnificent dive.
BELAFONTE: So incredible dive.
BELAFONTE: And I was working for the Olympic title. And then when I got out, (inaudible) and came up, I looked around the pool and everybody had left. The pool emptied. All the white people got out of the pool and I just kind of got up out of the water and smiled and did a little back stroke and breast stroke.
Then, a guy came up with a camera, and he said, Mister Belafonte, do you mind if I take a picture of you with my wife. His wife was in her bathing suit. She jumped in the water and her girlfriend jumped in the water. Before you know it I was in this pool with a sea of white people, all smiling. I was quelling.
BEHAR: Well, I have to tell you, I am quelling from this interview. And I want to thank you for coming by. It`s a great book. It`s a great film and thank you so Heshy. Thank you Heshy. (LAUGHTER)
BEHAR: Harry Belafonte`s HBO special, "Sing Your Song" airs Monday night. We will be right back.
BEHAR: Although Michael Jackson died of a drug overdose in 2009, the damage from his addiction didn`t end there. Addiction is a family illness and time will tell what effect all of this will have on Michael`s children. I`m joined by actress Mackenzie Phillips and child psychiatrist, Doctor Charles Sophy. Welcome to the show. Hello, Mackenzie, how are you?
MACKENZIE PHILLIPS, ACTRESS: Hi Joy.
BEHAR: Nice to see you.
PHILLIPS: Great! How are you?
PHILLIPS: Same here.
BEHAR: Now, Mackenzie, what was it like for you to grow up around drugs, because I know you did?
PHILLIPS: Well, you know it`s interesting because it`s all I knew really and you kind of think this is just what happened and this is what people do. And then as you get older, and you get a little kind of clue once you go out of your home, and you can you know what, not everyone is learning how to roll joints for their parents at 10 years old. And you know at the same time, it didn`t really disturb me because it was what I knew, it was what I grew up around. So -
BEHAR: Did anybody try to rescue you? Was there anybody there? You know sometimes they say my aunt or grandma was around and that saved me. Was there anyone?
PHILLIPS: Well, there were efforts to intervene or to come and take me out. But you know I lived with my mother and went to my father`s house on the weekends. And so, you know I saw a lot of things. But you know, the only people that were there on the weekends were my dad and his friends and whoever he was married to at the time.
BEHAR: And they were?
PHILLIPS: They were.
PHILLIPS: Absolutely, they were. I saw a lot of you know strange druggie behavior when I was little and ended up doing the same thing when I was old enough to make those decisions for myself.
BEHAR: Doctor Sophy, what effect does this sort of thing have on a child, particularly she felt basically was unprotected. Money came to her rescue. And she`s living in this environment where she has to roll joints for her father. What effect does that have on a kid?
DOCTOR CHARLES SOPHY, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. I mean it has a very negative effect. And as you see, whatever is real modeled for a child, they are going to grow up to do the same kind of behavior. They don`t see that as out of the norm because it`s what they`ve grown up with.
But when they go to their buddy`s house they see, wow! Like Mackenzie said, not everybody is doing that. Not everybody is rolling a joint for breakfast. So, it has a bad long term effect for a child to be able to function in a society that doesn`t accept that kind of behavior.
BEHAR: Right. Now, Mackenzie, they say children adopt a parental role in those situations. Was that the case for you? How did it make you feel to be the grown-up, sort of?
PHILLIPS: Well, I mean that occurred much later for me where I had to sort of you know help these people get ready to go on stage and you know wash people`s hair and I was you know a teenager, trying to prepare other adults to go out and perform and do what they had to do. It`s kind of a helpless feeling, and like wait a minute, isn`t someone supposed to be making me dinner?
PHILLIPS: I have to say, doctor, my son, Shane is 24, and he`s not an addict.
BEHAR: That`s great.
PHILLIPS: It`s a great thing.
SOPHY: But a lot of that -yes, and a lot of that comes if you have good solid people that can of shoot what`s going on in their life. If there`s another sober parent, there`s a relative, there in treatment of some sort of that addicted and drug addict parent is not affecting them solely.
BEHAR: Let me ask you this, doctor. Early in the Murray, the Conrad Murray trial, there was testimony that Jackson`s children knew there was something odd going on, for example he had them carrying oxygen tanks up and down the stair to his bedroom. That`s just one example of that. Now, what do you think they thought was going on when they were doing that? They were young.
SOPHY: Well, you know at the end of the day, every child loves their parent and will do what they`re told to do. Even if they have this innate sense there is something not right with all this. At the end of the day, nobody was protecting them and put in these risky positions nobody should be doing and the parent should be taking care of the child, not the other way around.
BEHAR: Right. So, I mean it`s sort of a tragic thing to even just picture them doing this kind of thing you know.
SOPHY: It is.
BEHAR: How do the early years of living with an addicted parent impact a child`s later life? I mean what do you think is going to happen to these kids?
SOPHY: Well, at the end of the day, again, a child needs really clear structure, some love and some security. They need physical and emotional security. And if a parent is not sober and they can`t think properly, their judgment is not intact, they cannot keep their child safe physically or emotionally.
So, those are the issues that a child has to fight battling based on what has happened to them because their parent are either absent or they are standing there but their shells of themselves. So, children are always at risk when they have a parent who is an addict.
BEHAR: OK. Alright, we`ll continue to -
PHILLIPS: Also -
BEHAR: Hold on that thought, Mackenzie. We`ll continue this discussion when we return.
BEHAR: I`m back with child psychologist, Doctor Charles Sophy and actress, Mackenzie Phillips. We`re talking about how a parent drug use affects their children.
You know I`m wondering, Mackenzie, it must have lowered your self- esteem I`m sure, amongst other issues that you`ve been dealing with your whole life, I kind of know you now.
BEHAR: It must have really just injured yourself, image of yourself. Tell me about that.
PHILLIPS: Well, you know, it was such a strange way to grow up because I did "American Graffiti" when I was 12 years old. And so, here I was, you know sort of caring for adults and then I was famous myself and so and dealing with low self-esteem and being told how great you are by the public and feeling like you really aren`t worth much at all and really trying to battle your way you know into adolescents with these things coming at you all the time.
It was very difficult. It was very challenging. And I think that Michael Jackson`s children will have a much better shot being raised by someone like Katherine because she has got the resources to bring in the real types of people. She`s got them in a real normal school. They leave the house to go to school every day. They`re not wearing you know veils over their faces anymore. We know who they are.
BEHAR: Yes, that`s true. But Doctor Sophy, they do have the scars of the previous years they were exposed to this type of environment. So, how do they deal with that?
BEHAR: What should Katherine be doing in addition to sending them to the best school et cetera?
SOPHY: I think the best thing that Katherine or anybody, any parent in this position could do, grand parent or caregiver for a child who had been the product of an environment of addiction from a parent, needs to be able to not minimize the effects of that absentee parenting, the ability to be able to get them into treatment, to be able to look at the issues of abandonment, self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect because those are the messages that are sent to a child when their parenting is intact. So when you don`t have intact parenting you risk all that for a child so getting them help is the key.
BEHAR: OK. Mackenzie, before I go, you had a point you were about to make before the break. Do you remember what it was?
PHILLIPS: Well, the point I was going to make is the kids are with Katherine and I think that`s a much more stable environment you know and that`s going to give them a great shot.
BEHAR: Was there anything else that, I`m just curious. Was there anything else your father insisted you do besides roll joints for him? What else did you have to do? I`m just curious.
PHILLIPS: Well, It wasn`t what I had to do, it wasn`t expected of me. It wasn`t expected of me to have a curfew. It wasn`t expected of you know when I told the house rules when moved into my dad`s house at 12 years old, he said, you know what, the rule is, there are no rules.
And if you come home after being at night, never come home in the clothes you left in because a lady never wears evening clothing during the day. I mean that`s the type of thing I was expected to do which is there`s no expectation there. That`s too much for a child.
BEHAR: She`s describing no boundaries I think is what you would say, right?
BEHAR: Yes, which is never good for a kid?
SOPHY: Absolutely and every - no, every kid needs a parent.
BEHAR: OK. Thank you guys, very much. Thank you for watching. Good night, everybody!
A.J. HAMMER, HOST, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer. This is the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT news break. Here`s what`s coming up on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at the top of the hour.
The stunning new claim from Michael Jackson`s son, Doctor Conrad Murray didn`t really comfort the kids in the ER.
And Larry Burkehead`s startling comparisons between Michael`s death and the death of Anna Nicole Schmidt.
That`s your "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" news break. Get ready for TV`s most provocative entertainment news show for Friday night. It gets underway at the top of the hour. That happens right here on HLN.