|Gretchen Barretto posts picture with Randy Santiago on her Instagram account
MANILA – Socialite-actress Gretchen Barretto caused an uproar on the image-sharing site Instagram over the weekend when she posted her picture with singer Randy Santiago.
This comes amid the legal battle between her youngest sister Claudine and husband Raymart, who is Randy’s younger brother.
The photo was taken at the birthday celebration of Bench honcho Ben Chan held last Saturday.
Captioned “With Randy Santiago,” some of Gretchen’s followers reacted negatively, saying she shouldn’t have posted the photo to show sympathy and respect for Claudine.
Another follower of Gretchen said the photo just goes to show how the cliche “blood is thicker than water” does not apply to all families.
Gretchen, for her part, replied: “Do you expect me to make enemies out of all her enemies? Because if that is so, then I will not have a single friend, I won't have photos to post on Instagram, I won't have parties & I won't have a job. Life is too short to be anything but happy. To love & be loved is essential.”
Gretchen went on by saying she just “won't live a lie. I will stand by the truth even if I have to risk everything I have.”
The socialite-actress said she has known the Santiago family for over 25 years now and she knows them to be very decent and respectable people.
“How do you expect me to treat Randy Santiago when I see him knowing that the Santiago family is being publicly shamed & lies are being thrown at them? I know the truth. I have been a victim of their very painful lies. Now tell me do they have sympathy for their victims? You expect me to respect when I was never given one. You know nothing about this. Don't be fooled,” Gretchen told one of her followers.
Raymart is currently facing a case for alleged violation of the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, which Claudine filed Thursday afternoon before the Marikina Regional Trial Court.
On Friday, Raymart attended a court hearing for the Gabriela-backed case which accuses him of "physical, sexual, psychological and economic" abuse against Claudine, supposedly dating back to 2002.
Raymart and Claudine were married in March 2006. They have two children -- an adopted daughter, Sabina, 9; and a biological son, Santino, 6.
Claudine had also accused Raymart’s brother Randy, of bullying her.
"Wala namang sinasabi si Randy na ano... He was just protecting me. Parang... I don't know, baka she's overreacting," Raymart told ABS-CBN News.
"Parang hindi naman bully siguro 'yung ginawa ng kapatid ko sa kanya, kasi sa mga nabasa ko, parang wala naman sinabi si Randy na nakaka-offend," he added.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News on August 6, Randy asserted that his brother is not capable of hurting Claudine or their children, saying only dedicated fans of the actress would believe her allegations. The former noontime show host also expressed confidence that the "truth will prevail."