There is no stopping, it seems, the new feud of actresses and sisters Claudine and Gretchen Barretto.
It all started partly in an innocent comment by a netizen allegedly bashing Julia and her entry into show business. It was later alleged that elder sister Gretchen had claimed that the netizen was actually Claudine who was not happy that their niece, Julia, was starting to make a name for herself in showbiz.
Julia is the second daughter of their sister Marjorie Barretto. She was recently introduced as an artist of Star Magic, the ABS-CBN talent management firm that launched Claudine to stardom until her transfer to GMA Network in 2009.
Gretchen and Marjorie were convinced that this anonymous basher was Claudine and started attacking her on Instagram, making innuendos about Claudine’s career options, psychological condition and the latter’s troubled marriage with Raymart Santiago.
It was alleged that Claudine may have separated from Raymart, who, however, has refused to confirm nor deny the report,
Earlier, in one of Gretchen’s tweets, she mentioned that Raymart had left his family’s home in Loyola Grand Villas because of Claudine’s violent behavior. She alleged that Claudine had damaged Raymart’s Porsche and laptop in one heated argument.
Gretchen also reportedly added that Claudine should go back to Medical City and get treated again.
Gretchen thanked her Instagram followers for their messages of support after she posted post-workout photos where her eyes looked swollen and bloodshot.
“Thank you. I’m won’t deny I’m hurting but I thank God still for all those who continue to love me,” she said.
Their mother, Inday, joined the fray by making her own comments, even as a brother of the sisters defended Gretchen.
The Barretto matriarch came out in defense of Claudine, saying she was not blocking Julia’s entering showbusiness.
The elder Barretto made the matter worse when she announced she has disowned Gretchen “in order to save one who has always been there for all, and with all of her love…Claudine.”
Another daughter, Gia, came out in defense of Claudine as she sided with her mother.
A brother, Joaquin, however, sided with Gretchen and urged that Claudine’s “condition” should be addressed.
Joaquin, who is known as “JJ,” at the same time rebuked her mother
for extolling their youngest, Claudine.
Gia, the fourth child, fanned the flames all the way from Boston, Massachussetts.
Gia wrote an open letter to Gretchen on her iPhone, sent it to their mother Inday, who forwarded it to Philippine Star columnist Ricky Lo, who in turn published it last week. ABS-CBN, GMA News and TV5’s InterAksyon wrote more about the feud.
According to reports, Gia’s letter, entitled “When enough is enough,” was more sober than Inday’s April 24 letter but was hostile towards Gretchen.
“I respect that you do not want to be part of our family. At this point, we welcome it,” Gia began.
“Not at any point do I ever recall us forcing you to be part of us but we have never also alienated you during the times when you wanted to be with us. Even during the times when you battled with one of us,” she added.
Gia alleged that Gretchen had systematically alienated their family, especially their parents. Like her mother, she also used the word “evil” to describe Gretchen’s ways.
“I say us because you have time and time again made extreme efforts to push us — mom, dad and all of us — away. You have hurt us in ways that put the word decency to shame, you have had no rules when you attacked us. If the attack were physical then it would be bearable. Bruises heal. But the attack has always been vicious, below the belt and so evil that the wound borne from it cannot heal. It is done repeatedly and unsparingly with permanent damage in mind. You have tried to put mom and dad to shame with empty allegations without thinking that you, whether you like it or not, came from them. You ridicule them in front of friend, strangers and us. And, you expect us to just take it.”
Gia then refuted in detail JJ’s claim that Gretchen had acted as the family’s breadwinner since she joined showbiz at age 12.
“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. 1. We live in big beautiful houses 2. Slept in carpeted, air-conditioned rooms, 3. Food galore. 4. Put in an exclusive school. 5. Members of exclusive country clubs. 6. We each have our own yayas, yours even a midwife. 7. Driven by chauffeurs.
“Long before you were born and even after you were in show business. At 12 years old, could you have duplicated or taken over this kind of a style, with your meager earnings? We did not have an excess of things but we had what we needed. You were never forced to get into show business. I remember very clearly how you ran to the middle of the road when dad said ‘no’ to you entering show business. He believed that school was important. How sad that you cannot distinguish the lies that you make up and reality.
“No Gretchen, it was not you who helped us during rough spots. It was Claudine. You could not [for] the life of you convince her that our parents were abusive ones. It was difficult for you to accept that there was somebody who actually had pure intentions of helping where help was needed. You once told me and I quote, ‘I just disappear when things get tough.’ You have become great at these disappearing acts. Claudine made an effort to be there always,” she wrote.
Gia enumerated the many favors Claudine had extended her.
“Just a few corrections: Claudine paid for my med at UBC just as she paid for a lot of our nieces and nephews education. She gave them (our nieces and nephews), iPads, iPhones, concert tickets, clothes and so much more. She spoiled all of us not because she needed to but she wanted to. She unlike you, has never equated her value with money or material possessions,” she said.
Gia suggested that Gretchen had forced JJ to write his open letter.
“JJ comments on TV are only credible in as far as he is caught between a rock and a hard place, because he is in your employ. It honestly pains me to see that you could put him in this situation. To pick between that and his parents,” she said.
Finally, Gia pleaded with Gretchen to stop her attacks against their family.
“I echo mom’s words, ‘Stop it.’ We get it. We know you don’t want us so please hear us now…’We do not want you, too.’ Please stop hounding us like an attack dog. We will admit defeat if you just leave us in peace. Just totally disappear from our lives without leaving a trail of vile and misery. Please.
“Enough is enough! Leave us alone. Leave my family alone,” she concluded.
Gretchen and Claudine have been feuding for several years now.
Their mother said: ”the truth is all in the hands of God and people can tell the difference, until it sets us free.”
“The one real judge though are the participants who know the real score. May God be with them,” she said.