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Roseanne Barr No Longer Alleging Sexual Abuse

FMSF News Alert - August 1, 2018

Dear Friends,

In 1991, with her picture featured on the cover of People Magazine, Roseanne Barr alleged that her parents had molested her from infancy until she left home at age 17. [1] With that article, Roseanne joined a parade of celebrities claiming to have "recovered" memories of abuse in therapy. Roseanne’s highly publicized allegations added tremendous fuel to the storm that devastated countless families during the ensuing decade.

On the Oprah Winfrey program in 1992 Roseanne captured the mindset of a large segment of our population when she commented: "When someone asks you, ‘Were you sexually abused as a child?’ there are only two answers: One of them is ‘Yes’ and one of them is ‘I don’t know.’ You can’t say ‘No.’" [2]. Throughout the 1990’s Roseanne was all over the airwaves spreading assertions of her recovered abuse memories.

A decade later Roseanne tried to reconcile with her father but it was not to be. Jerry Barr felt that Roseanne would need to apologize first. [3] Based on media accounts, her father told a friend, "My only wish is that Roseanne would come to her senses and apologize. I’d take her back in a minute. There’s nothing I want more than to see my daughter and grandchildren before I die." That, too, was not to be. All of Jerry’s family except Roseanne gathered for his funeral in April 2001.

In 2006, Roseanne said that she had reconciled with her mother and siblings. "When I got calmer and I was able to, you know, find a peaceful place inside myself, I was able to, you know, go to my family and make amends and ask their forgiveness and they mine and we’ve mended that one too. That one I’m so happy about. My mother and I and my siblings we have a great relationship." [4]

Roseanne has been much in the news again over recent months, this time because of a controversial tweet that resulted her being fired from her rebooted TV program. In an interview about that incident, Sean Hannity asked Roseanne how old she was when she was sexually abused. Roseanne’s reply took an enormous step back from her original claims - she said that she no longer believes she’d been sexually abused, but she believes she had been psychologically abused. [5]

Apparently the allegations are not dropped but they appear significantly reduced.

[1] A Star Cries Incest (October 7, 1991). People, Vol. 36 no 13.
[2] Kowalski, Michael (1997). Applying the "Two Schools of Thought" Doctrine to the Repressed Memory Controversy. The Journal of Legal Medicine, 19. 503-547.
[3] Roseannne’s Dad Dies With A Broken Heart (May 1, 2001). National Enquirer.
[4] Roseanne on CNN Larry King Live, March 2, 2006
[5] Furdyk, Brent (July 27, 2018). Roseanne Barr Walks Back Story About Incest Claims, Tells Sen Hannity Abuse Was Only Psychological.

J.Bean and Pamela