MANILA—Marjorie Barretto on Tuesday made a televised plea to businessman Atong Ang not to hurt her, after the former actress mentioned him several times in her narration of a controversial scuffle on the night of Oct. 16.
Marjorie, who had kept mum in the past week since the confrontation during her father’s wake made headlines, finally broke her silence in an interview with Karen Davila that aired on “TV Patrol.”
“Atong, huwag mo akong saktan, ha?” Marjorie said in the closing seconds of the 18-minute one-on-one. “Everybody warned me that he could get back at me. I came out on TV saying na sana, since I named you already, huwag mo akong saktan.”
Until this latest feud to beset the showbiz clan, Ang’s history with the Barretto women was not public knowledge.
In her interview, Marjorie reiterated her claim that Ang, who is married, was the boyfriend of her niece, Nicole, for five years, until Gretchen allegedly “stole” him.
Ang has denied those claims, saying Gretchen and her long-time partner, Tonyboy Cojuangco, are his business partners, and Nicole was formerly employed by him.
“Tungkol kay Nicole, mga four to 11 years ago ay nagkakasama kami nang mommy niya. Kung ano man ang relationship namin, walang kinalaman si Gretchen,” Ang said in a statement on Sunday.
“Si Gretchen kasosyo ko sa casino at saka sabong. Si Tonyboy Cojuangco, kasama ko rin sa casino. May junket ako sa mga casino, si Tony kasosyo ko sa Okada.
“Kung nagkahiwalay kami nila Nicole walang kinalaman si Gretchen. Ang relasyon namin ni Nicole, parang taga asikaso ng mga flights ko and schedule ko noon.”
Reacting to Ang’s statement, Marjorie said: “Naging boyfriend po siya ni Nicole. Huwag naman niyang babuyin ’yung bata . . . They had a five-year relationship. Nasira na nga ’yung reputasyon ng bata, tapos idi-deny mo, naging sekretarya mo na lang. That (relationship), I have personal knowledge of.”
Ang’s visit to the wake, Marjorie alleged, led to the friction among family members that night. She recalled that prior to Ang’s arrival with Gretchen, Nicole was advised by the businessman’s camp to leave to avoid any conflict.
“[They] said kung puwede umalis muna sila Nicole at ’yung mga kapatid niya, dahil parating si Gretchen at si Atong. Bigla na lang lumuha [si Nicole]. Apo siya. She had more right in the wake,” Marjorie said.
“Tapos siyempre napapahiya siya sa aming lahat, kasi very present si Atong sa lahat ng family gatherings namin in that almost five years, as the boyfriend of Nicole. Napapahiya rin naman si Nicole na papasok silang (Gretchen and Ang) magkasama. Parang sampal na sa pagmumukha niya ’yon. It was not the place to do that.”
Marjorie also alleged that Ang attempted to grab her, after she questioned his presence at the wake in front of President Rodrigo Duterte. The President arrived prior to Ang and Gretchen, and was, at that point, urging the feuding sisters to shake hands.
“‘Bakit ba siya nandito?’ Nagalit! Sa aakma si Atong . . . That’s when the PSG cordoned . . . Because the President was holding me. ’Pag safe si Presidente, safe ako,” she said, referring to the Presidential Security Group.
The tension, Marjorie recalled, resulted in the now-publicized physical confrontation between Nicole and Gretchen, whom she said had a “nervous breakdown.”
Sought for comment on Marjorie’s narration of the Oct. 16 incident, Ang declined to issue a statement for now.
In a separate response to ABS-CBN News, Gretchen, meanwhile, said: “I have replied point by point to all her allegations. Mr. Atong Ang says he will reply to Marjorie.”