Gretchen on the ‘pain and shame’ of being a Barretto

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Gretchen Barretto opens up about her struggles in a 'conflicted and dysfunctional family'

TELLING HER STORY. Gretchen Barretto reveals details about growing up with her family. Screen grab from her Instagram (@gretchenbarretto)

MANILA, Philippines – An emotional Gretchen Barretto opened up once more about their family’s long-standing feud, in an interview with Boy Abunda during Buzz ng Bayan aired Sunday, January 26.

“The overwhelming feeling is deep pain and shame because it’s true,” she said when asked by host Boy Abunda about how it feels to be in a “conflicted and dysfunctional family.”

“Pag totoo masakit. (When it’s true, it hurts.) It’s very difficult to acknowledge the truth, but it’s all out. I have no choice but to embrace it.” 

She revealed later on that this feeling was exactly the same feeling she felt while growing up. She claimed the “nastiness” the public is witnessing now is nothing compared to what she went through as a child. “Shouting, cursing, and belittling” were words she used to narrate her childhood.

She continued, “I don’t know how to feel anymore when you say nanay, tatayHindi ko alam ‘yun. Hindi ko alam yung pakiramdam na kung masakit ang tiyan mo or ulo mo, or may problema ka, meron kang matatakbuhang nanay na yayakap sa ‘yo, na ‘It’s okay, I’m here for you.'”

(“I don’t know how to feel anymore when you say mom, dad. I don’t know that. I don’t know the feeling of when your stomach hurts of when your head hurts, or if you have a problem, you have someone to run to, who’ll hug you and say, ‘‘It’s okay, I’m here for you.'”)

She added that working at a young age was a way for her to escape that kind of life.

Freedom to tell her story

When asked about news saying her Mother Inday Barretto and her sister Claudine Barretto are planning to file a case against her, the actress said that she would “welcome it, and embrace it.”

Gretchen told Buzz ng Bayan that her lawyer called her upon hearing the news, saying that a case against her would be “the best thing [her] parents could do for [her].”

“If they sue you for libel, with that, you’re free. You can really tell your story and you can fight it out,” she said, narrating what her lawyer told her

Earlier in January, Claudine’s legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio revealed that his client and Inday Barretto are planning to pursue a case against Gretchen, who, last October, testified in Claudine’s ongoing legal battle with estranged husband Raymart Santiago. There, Gretchen and Santiago revealed details about Claudine’s alleged mental illness and drug problems.

Gretchen also debunked any rumors of reconciliation saying the stories were made up by her parents’ camp.

Gawa-gawa lang nila yun. Wala namang ganun talagang nangyayari, wala namang pinaabot talaga sa amin. Kung talagang there was anything like that, sana may nilapitan sila and they know how pero wala talaga.”

(“They just made that up. Nothing like that happened, no one reached out to us. If there was really anything like that, they should have reached out and they know how, but there’s really nothing.”)

Saving Claudine

Tearing up, Gretchen told Buzz ng Bayan that she did not betray her sister when she testified in court. She explained that Claudine included her, and other siblings Marjorie and Jayjay in her affidavit against Raymart, which forced them to testify against her sister in order to defend themselves.

I did not betray her, I only spoke the truth as I know it, and it is the right thing to do,” said Gretchen. “I don’t hate my sister. I hate what she’s doing. I hate the cases that she’s filed.”

She said her actions were brought about by concern for Claudine and her children Sabina and Santino, and that these actions were a “desperate move” by her and her siblings.

“We cannot save her and she refuses for us to help her,” she told Buzz ng Bayan. “Claudine filed a criminal case against Raymart which means that if Claudine prospers, Raymart will be put into jail for a crime he did not commit. We know that as a family. Kung may mangyari kay Claudine because she is not well and Raymart is put into jail, anong mangyayari kay Sabina and Santino?”

At this point, the actress said she can only hope and pray for an end to the conflict. –

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