MANILA — Former actress Marjorie Barretto believes a “big PR operation” is behind rumors she is peddling her children to businessmen.
Barretto addressed the accusation Tuesday in a tell-all interview with ABS-CBN News’ Karen Davila — her first since the latest controversy to beset her family erupted.
Her feud with sisters Gretchen and Claudine has been the subject of headlines in the past week following a scuffle at their father’s wake on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
While Marjorie did not specify anyone, she alleged that “there’s a big PR operation going against me [and] Nicole,” referring to her niece with whom Gretchen figured in a physical confrontation during the wake.
She said “very reliable sources” informed her of the calculated effort to smear her reputation, when asked for her reaction to the rumors involving her children.
Marjorie has five children: Dani, with former actor Kier Legaspi; Julia, Claudia, and Leon, with comedian Dennis Padilla; and Erich, with politician Recom Echiverri.
“This was the same PR operations that was paid for to destroy Julia during that scandal a few months back, a ‘love triangle’ scandal na nakisali sila Gretchen,” she said, referring to the intrigues that hounded her daughter in relation to the breakup of actors Bea Alonzo and Gerald Anderson.
At the time, Gretchen publicly supported Alonzo, whom Julia accused of “bullying” by encouraging rumors that she was a third party in the breakup. Claudine, like Gretchen, also sent flowers to Alonzo.
“Talo ako sa social media, makikita mo talaga,” Marjorie said, before she brought up an article she came across online, which alleged that she was selling her daughters to “wealthy businessmen.”
“I would like to address this to everybody: My children are not for sale. I don’t even have very much wealthy friends to sell my children to . . . My children work very, very hard. Matitino po ang mga anak ko,” she said.
Marjorie surmised that the rumors may have been borne of her being once involved with a married man — a personal detail she confirmed for the first time in the Tuesday interview, pertaining to Echiverri.
“I understand where this is coming from. Maybe they think the mother’s a mistress, and maybe they think she’s a mistress for money. But that’s not the truth. I’m not a mistress for money.
“Kaya libre silang babuyin ang mga anak ko. If the mom is like this, then all the daughters I like this. But no. I’m making this announcement: My children are not for sale,” she said.