Sally Field is opening up about her history with sexual abuse and her high-profile romances with the late Burt Reynolds and singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb ahead of the release of her memoir In Pieces.
In an interview with New York Times published on Tuesday, the two-time Oscar winner says she was sexually abused as a child by her stepfather, stuntman and actor Jock Mahoney.
Field alleges the abuse went on throughout her adolescence, during which Mahoney would frequently summon her to his bedroom, and stopped after she turned 14. (Her mother divorced Mahoney in 1968 and he died in 1989.)
“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. He could be magical, the Pied Piper with our family as his entranced followers,” she wrote.
The 71-year-old actress added that she later realised she was trying to recreate her relationship with her stepfather while dating Reynolds, her Smokey and the Bandit costar, who died last week. Of Reynolds, Field said their time together was “confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me.”
Field also revealed she had an abortion in Tijuana at age 17, just before becoming a household name with the TV shows Gidget and The Flying Nun. She also shared a 1968 encounter with musician Webb, saying that after they both smoked a hash-filled joint, she woke up to find Webb on top of her “grinding away to another melody.”
She believes his actions weren’t malicious and “felt he was stoned out of his mind,” she told the newspaper.
Webb, who told the New York Times he hadn’t read the passages about him, responded through a lawyer saying “we dated and did what 22-year-olds did in the late 60s — we hung out, we smoked pot, we had sex.”
He also said that, out of respect for her, he didn’t write about her in his book as not to “tarnish her Gidget image with our stories of drugs and sex.”
Field’s book, which will be released on September 18, is being billed as an “intimate, haunting literary memoir” that details the actress’ “challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother,” according to publisher Grand Central Publishing.