Today, in good news for people who can’t look away from car crashes, the feud between sisters and former actresses Marjorie and Gretchen Barretto has gone from “heated” to “nuclear” following Marjorie’s tell-all interview last night in which she claimed Gretchen “stole” their niece’s boyfriend.
(Can somebody please get these people a reality show, already?)
The revelation, made on the news program “TV Patrol,” that Gretchen had wooed much-older businessman Charlie “Atong” Ang away from her much-younger niece, Nicole Barretto, came after Ang denied on Sunday to ABS-CBN News that he and Nicole had been in a romantic relationship. (Ang, of course, is famous/infamous for his alleged involvement in illegal gambling, and his prominent role in the scandal that led to the impeachment of then-President Joseph Estrada back in 2001.)
Last night, Marjorie claimed that Nicole had dated Ang for five years, and that the businessman was a constant presence at family gatherings (poor guy).
“They separated because, allegedly, Gretchen stole Atong Ang from Nicole,” Marjorie told the program. (Gretchen, as most Filipinos know, is the long-time girlfriend of billionaire Tony Boy Cojuangco.)
Marjorie also blamed Ang for the eruption that transpired during her late father Miguel Barretto’s wake last week — oh, did we mention that the family is theoretically in mourning? — in which a catfight allegedly broke out between Gretchen and Nicole in front of President Rodrigo Duterte, who was one of the guests.
Ang, through a family member, had allegedly asked Nicole and her siblings to leave the wake because he and Gretchen were about to arrive. (Oh no he didn’t!) The request allegedly drove Nicole to tears.
“She suddenly cried. Because of the injustice [of it all]. She’s the granddaughter. She had more right [to be] in the wake… It was not the place [for Ang] to do that,” Marjorie said.
Marjorie also discussed how Duterte became involved in the melee, which started after the president urged her and Gretchen to quash their five-year feud. During her conversation with Duterte (apparently exhibiting more diplomacy than he does when practicing actual diplomacy), Marjorie said she was standing in front of Gretchen, Ang, and her youngest sister, actress Claudine Barretto, a known Gretchen ally.
“I have to make it clear: the president was humble and gentle,” Marjorie said. “He was holding both my elbows; he was very sweet, looking into my eyes.”
While Duterte appeared sincere in patching things up between the sisters, Marjorie refused to give in because she was skeptical of Gretchen.
“I could see her face. I could see the insincerity in her face. I know her the most,” Marjorie said.
Marjorie then told Duterte, “I respect you, Mr. President. I respect you, I love you, I voted for you, sir. But I’m sorry, I can’t give in to your request.”
In Marjorie’s telling, upon hearing this, Claudine flew into a rage, shouting, “You’re unbelievable!”
“How dare you!” she added. “You just want the attention!” (Noooo! Perish the thought!)
Majorie said she was then forced to educate the head of state on her sisters’ wily ways, saying, “Mr. President, this is what they’re really like. They’re just pretending to be good people because they’re in front of you. I hope you understand.”
She went on to claim that the scuffle started when Ang reached for her, adding for good (and totally unverifiable) measure that he may have intended to hurt her.
“The trouble started when Atong was about to hold me. Because I told the president, ‘I can’t [reconcile with Gretchen]. She ruined my children’s lives, my name, my siblings, [and] she stole the boyfriend of my niece,'” Marjorie said. “That was when Atong Ang [reached for me].”
When Ang was about to “attack” Marjorie, Duterte’s bodyguards — trying to protect their boss — allegedly surrounded the president and, by extension, Marjorie, who was standing right beside him.
“Then I saw to my right, Nicole carried Gretchen — Nicole is strong. She moved Gretchen away from me. Because according to Nicole and other people, she was gonna follow me and hurt me,” Majorie continued, again, unverifiably.
Duterte’s bodyguards allegedly urged him to leave the wake because it was becoming unsafe, Marjorie said, but the humble, gentle, kind-eyed president said, “No, I have to talk to Marjorie.”
“He safely took me away to a couch, to the farthest couch, while Gretchen had a nervous breakdown,” Marjorie said. “She ran after Nicole, pulled Nicole’s hair, kicked her. She beat up my niece.”
Apparently deciding that she hadn’t had enough drama for one interview, Marjorie also took the opportunity to admit that former Congressman Recom Echiverri, long rumored to be her boyfriend, is the father of her youngest daughter. (Echiverri remains married to his wife, Purificacion Echiverri, and stands accused — by Gretchen, and without proof — of molesting Claudine, who allegedly plans, again, according to Gretchen, to file a complaint against the lawmaker.)
“I’m very strong in many ways. But when it comes to love, I’m weak. I’m sorry, I’m not very proud of it,” Marjorie said (presumably steeling every fiber of her being so as not to theatrically swoon onto a nearby chaise longue).
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of unsubstantiated accusations, Gretchen has also previously claimed that Marjorie refused to invite their mother — Inday Barretto, also a Gretchen ally — to a birthday lunch for their father Miguel at her house, which is what caused (wait for it…) his heart attack and untimely death.
However, Majorie, in the interview, maintained that her father died of pneumonia and sepsis. (Though, of course she would say that…)
“When we talk about her painting me as a bad daughter, I will put my foot down,” Marjorie continued, refuting the accusations of patricide. “I am a good daughter. I am present every Sunday, every family event. I throw them parties, I serve them, I visit my family.”
“Speaking of not inviting your mother to your house, Gretchen, for more than 25 years, has never invited my parents to her house. Any of their mansions or rest houses. Not even to their garage.” (Oh, snap!) “So don’t paint me as the bad daughter; don’t paint me as the bad daughter, Gretchen.”
Gretchen, however, was determined to have the last word, retaliating with an Instagram post last night in which she shared a snippet of Marjorie’s interview and insisted that Miguel did indeed die of a heart attack.
“You did not invite mom & that caused a huge dispute between our parents & the rest is history. Lets stick to each point so people will better understand THE TRUTH,” Gretchen wrote.
In a follow-up post this morning, Gretchen posted a photo of Marjorie from her interview in which she appeared to be fuming, sarcastically mocking her “calm” demeanor.
“Yes sister, you were the one who was calm. You’re the good daughter,” Gretchen wrote. “You are everything. im longing for the peace you radiate, sister marjorie baldivia itchy -very goooood.” (FYI, that last bit is actually an elaborate multi-level burn referring to both Marjorie’s ex-husband — actor Dennis Balidiva, who is probably thrilled to be out of this family — and her current baby daddy, Echiverri. Get it? Itchy-very? We’re not sure why, but that stings.)
Well played, Gretchen. Well played.
Marjorie, the ball is in your court.
Having a hard time keeping up with the Barrettos, or is their sweet, sweet drama your lifeblood? And more importantly, should they have a TV show? Let us know in the comments below or tweet to us @CoconutsManila.
Support Coconuts and rep your city
Now you can wear your love of Coconuts proudly across your chest. That’s right, we’re getting into the merch business with the launch of our official online store, The Coconuts Shop.
Our first product is that ultimate wardrobe mainstay: the white T-shirt.
If you want to rep your city, we’ve also launched Coconuts City Logo Tees for Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, KL, Jakarta, Bali, and Yangon.
They’re all sold exclusively at The Coconuts Shop – at a special introductory price of S$29 until Sep. 30, 2020!