Sally Field is opening up about her past in a new memoir, and confronts some dark incidents from her younger years.
As the New York Times reports, the two-time Oscar winner gets candid about the difficulties she faced in her teenage years, thanks to an abusive stepfather and an unwanted pregnancy that resulted in a secret abortion in Mexico when she was just 17.
In the upcoming memoir In Pieces, reports the Times, Field looks back at her life after her mother married Jock Mahoney, an actor and stuntman who played Tarzan.
As she writes, Mahoney could be as charming as he could abusive.
“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,” Field writes. “He could be magical, the Pied Piper with our family as his entranced followers.”
Field writes that Mahoney would regularly summon her to his bedroom, alone, describing how he once accosted her when he came out of the shower, “wet and erect,” placing his penis between her legs.
“I knew,” she writes. “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.” (Field added that the abuse stopped when she was 14; her mother and Mahoney subsequently divorced).
Field also writes about becoming pregnant at age 17, and travelling to Tijuana for an abortion. She recalls being given an injection that left her with blurred vision and a swollen tongue, adding that a mask was placed over her face while she was given a “white pill.”
Speaking with the Times, the 71-year-old actress explains that she’s equally candid when addressing her relationship with Burt Reynolds, who passed away on Friday.
“This would hurt him,” she said of Reynolds’ passing before her book’s publication. “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.”