If there were an award for 2013's most controversial showbiz family, the Barretto clan would certainly win it. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that this year alone, the family’s most prominent members—sisters Gretchen, Marjorie, and Claudine—made the headlines numerous times due to various issues, which were all tackled publicly.
Let’s take a look back at the not-so-distant past to see what the family has been up to this year.
APRIL 2013: GRETCHEN AND MARJORIE CONFRONT A BASHER ON INSTAGRAM
The whole issue started innocently enough, with an anonymous basher threatening to ruin the budding showbiz career of Marjorie’s daughter, teen star Julia Barretto, on Gretchen’s Instagram account. Gretchen’s reply, however, insinuated that she knew the basher personally.
“Your husband walked out coz you violent ways. What exactly did you do to his Porsche? His laptop? Etc. oh pls reflect and go to your happy place..Medical City,” she posted. “You are not a part of our affairs simply because of your evil ways…how can you desperately try to ruin your own blood.”
APRIL 2013: INDAY BARRETTO LASHES OUT AT GRETCHEN BARRETTO
Shortly after the controversial Instagram exchange, Inday Barretto, the matriarch of the Barretto clan, publicly denounced Gretchen in a statement sent to The Philippine Star’s Ricky Lo.
“You have attacked, accused, maligned and tried to destroy each and everyone of us in the eyes of society, starting from your father, I your mother, and each and everyone of your siblings including their partners,” Inday wrote.
At the same time, Inday also demonstrated her loyalty to Claudine. “Do not call Claudine evil!” she cautioned Gretchen. “I am letting go of a child now who never wanted me in order to save one who has always been there for all, and with all of her love… Claudine!"
APRIL 2013: JAYJAY BARRETTO DEFENDS GRETCHEN
Joaquin “J.J.” Barretto, Gretchen’s non-showbiz brother, took the opportunity to defend his sister from their mother’s tirades. “Who took over the role of her parents, worked at the age of 12, and gave up her education to put her siblings to school? Who put food on the table, paid for the rent, electricity and hospital bills when dad suffered from his heart condition at least two times? Did you ever once stop her from doing all that because you loved her and wanted to protect her just like what you are now doing for Claudine?" he asked his mother.
APRIL 2013: GIA BARRETTO TAKES CLAUDINE’S SIDE
After J.J. took Gretchen’s side, it wasn’t long before another sibling joined in the fray. This time, it was Gia Barretto, an older sister based in Boston, who refuted J.J.’s words. “Your claims of financial support for this family have no basis, because dad always managed to provide. For the record, we may not have been so rich but we were never poor,” she said in a statement. “At 12 years old, could you have duplicated or taken over this kind of a style, with your meager earnings?”
J.J., however, dismissed the statement as “lies,” claiming that Gretchen had sent Gia to school and had helped her establish her life abroad. Gretchen later revealed that she will be suing Gia for libel because of her words.
JULY 2013: CLAUDINE PUBLICIZES SEPARATION FROM RAYMART SANTIAGO
A few months after Claudine’s feud with Gretchen occupied the headlines, the actress dominated the news once more when she admitted that she and her husband Raymart Santiago aren’t living together anymore.
“Matagal na pong nagtiis ang aking kliyente, 2005 pa po. She tried to make it work, ayaw niya sanang magreklamo at humantong sa ganitong aksyon, ngunit hindi na po niya kaya (My client has been suffering for a long time, since 2005. She tried to make it work. She didn’t want to complain and resort to this, but she can’t stand it anymore),” said her lawyer, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, when she filed a temporary restraining order against her estranged husband.
Claudine also accused Raymart’s family of “bullying” her, and she likewise sued him for violating the violence against women act.
SEPTEMBER 2013: CLAUDINE’S ASSISTANT SUES HER FOR THEFT
In the midst of her legal feud with her estranged husband, Claudine was slapped with a theft complaint made by her former personal assistant, Dessa Patilan, whom Claudine had accused of stealing P8.5 million worth of jewelry and valuables from her in May. Dessa had alleged that the actress took P13,550 worth of her belongings when she went through her things with the police.
Claudine, however, believes that Gretchen was behind Dessa’s complaint. “Magsama na lang sila ni Gretchen sa kulungan (She should be with Gretchen in prison),” Claudine said about her former employee.
SEPTEMBER 2013: RAYMART INCLUDES SWORN AFFIDAVITS FROM MARJORIE AND GRETCHEN IN HIS EVIDENCE AGAINST CLAUDINE
To counter Claudine’s accusations, Raymart submitted a 22-page affidavit to court, which documented the physical abuse he claims to have suffered under Claudine. The evidence also included sworn statements from Gretchen, Marjorie, and J.J. Raymart also revealed that he plans to have his marriage to Claudine annulled once they have settled their legal disputes.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2013: CLAUDINE DEFENDS HERSELF AGAINST DRUG USE ACCUSATIONS
After Raymart appealed to Claudine’s parents, Mike and Inday, to have their daughter treated for a serious “problem,” the actress retorted by expressing her willingness to undergo a drug test.
“Any time, any place. You just tell us and we will be there. She is drug-free,” said her lawyer, Atty. Junelet Mataro.
Claudine later revealed her suspicion that Raymart had accused her of doing drugs to gain access to her money as they did not sign a pre-nuptial agreement before they got married. “Kung totoo nga na mentally ill ako, or drug addict ako, bakit mo pababayaan yung mga bata sa akin ng ilang buwan?” she questioned her estranged husband.
OCTOBER 2013: MIKE BARRETTO ACCUSE GRETCHEN, MARJORIE, AND J.J OF BEING “BAD CHILDREN”
Mike Barretto, the Barretto patriarch who had so far kept quiet when it came to his feuding family, later denounced Gretchen, Marjorie, and J.J. for siding with Raymart in the couple’s marital feud. “It’s either we are bad parents, kami ng mommy (your mommy and I), or we had bad children,” he lamented. “They feel righteous on the outside. Pero, inside, they’re hypocrites, and evildoings ang ginagawa nila—'yang mga kapatid na ‘yan (But inside, they're hypocrites, and those siblings are doing evil things.).”
Mr. Barretto’s statement caused Marjorie, who also distanced herself from the issue, to defend herself. “I feel that that was very unfair of my father because I have never done anything to make him say so. But if I have, I am humbly telling my father, ‘Daddy, please, give me a rundown of the reasons why you think I have been a bad daughter, I have been a bad child. 'And if what you’re saying is correct, if what you’re saying is accurate, I promise, I will make it up to you. I will correct it, habang buhay pa kayo (while you’re still alive.).” she vowed.
OCTOBER 2013: GRETCHEN RELEASES A STATEMENT CONFIRMING CLAUDINE’S DRUG USE
In an effort to set the record straight, Gretchen send a statement confirming the allegations of Claudine’s drug use. Claudine had allegedly undergone several treatments for her “severe drug abuse and mental condition,” to no avail.
“It was a choice of confining her at the basement or seeing her in the morgue at the rate she's going,” she revealed. “Whether they believe it or not, we care for Claudine… However, the Claudine that we see and experience now is not the Claudine we used to know.”
As of press time, it's highly unlikely that the Barretto family will be reconciling anytime soon. Still, Claudine remains hopeful that her sisters wouldn't forget the good things that she did for them and their children. “Sana matandaan lang nila… maalala lang nila na nung panahong kinakailangan nila ako, nandun ako para sa kanila (I hope they would remember the times when I was there for them when they needed me),” she said.
(Photos courtesy of PEP.ph)