Gretchen Barretto was left feeling hurt after her niece Claudia, whom she said she treats as her own child, appeared to have avoided mentioning her name in a recent interview.
At the sidelines of a blogger's conference held for her first single "Stay" on Friday, Claudia was asked if she is ready to be compared with her aunt Gretchen, who also ventured into singing in 2008.
"I think we're very different naman. Like our songs and our voice, it is different so I don't mind," Claudia said, before adding: "I mean it's nice to know that someone else actually sings."
Fans were quick to single out the teen singer's "someone else" comment, with some accusing it of being disrespectful.
Prodded for her reaction by her followers on Instagram, Gretchen initially called Claudia an "ungrateful child." She reminded Claudia that she gave her a "safe home for a few good years" until her sister, Claudine Barretto, took over and sent her and her siblings to school.
A day later, however, Gretchen was humming a different tune and called on her fans to refrain from criticizing her niece and let them "heal peacefully."
"I'm currently in Hong Kong for the weekend and I was hoping to enjoy [my break] but no matter what I do, I realize that I am hurting and in the process, I have deeply hurt the ones I love dearly," she wrote.
Gretchen also shared that she received a call from Dominique, her daughter who is known to be close with Claudia.
"I am learning the very painful way that as a mother we must be selfless, we must forgo hurt and disappointment, we must be more understanding and patient, we must ignore the pain that our children make us feel, we must embrace them through their flaws and love them UNCONDITIONALLY," she explained.
"I do not want my Claudia to be bashed in any way. I beg for understanding and forgiveness. Please allow us all to heal peacefully," she added.