Roseanne Barr Arnold’s account of being a childhood incest victim (PEOPLE, 10/7/91) prompted more than 150 readers to write. Many, identifying themselves as victims of incest, praised Roseanne for her courage in coming forward. A few, however, questioned her credibility.
ROSEANNE BARR ARNOLD
Hooray for Roseanne Arnold! It took guts to go public with her incest story, especially while her parents are still alive. I have no trouble believing her accusations, as I too am an incest survivor. Until I was 38 years old, I had no conscious recall of my father sexually abusing me throughout my childhood. Through a difficult and painful process of putting the pieces of my personal puzzle together, I am healing. It helps me greatly to know that I am not alone in this struggle, and I applaud Roseanne for opening her heart and soul.
I could never fully understand what all the uproar was about Roseanne’s famous scratch at the ball game. I kept hearing the word disgusting. I was a victim of incest myself, and maybe I have a different frame of reference for what’s disgusting. I think Roseanne does too.
I never liked Roseanne after reading any of her interviews. I thought she was obnoxious and irreverent. After reading her story, I understand why she seemed so bitter to me. As a professed Christian, I am ashamed of my unfair judgment of her.
CHRISTY DORR, Mineral Wells, Texas
Our condolences to Helen and Jerome Barr. While our 31-year-old daughter is not famous (thank God), a similar accusation was recently dropped on us. To be falsely accused by one’s own daughter is an unspeakably sad, lonely and defenseless place to be. We understand as few others can how desperately those parents need to be believed and supported.
MR. AND MRS. P.W. SEEK, Lincoln, Neb.
Personally, I wouldn’t believe a word out of this woman’s mouth. She and her husband would say and do anything to grab headlines. The media has been taken for a royal hoax. My sympathy to her parents.
IRENE H. RIEBE, New Canaan, Cann.
Your article on Roseanne stated that she “claims she is a victim of incest”—as though she might have fabricated or imagined it. As one who knew her well while she was still living with her parents, I do not doubt the truth of her story. It all fits much too well. Your unfortunate choice of words illustrated the dilemma faced by all incest survivors. To make such an admission, particularly after many years, is to bring one’s credibility into question.
CALVIN R. PETERSEN, Mantua, Utah
DONALD TRUMP AND MARLA MAPLES
From your latest Tales of Trump, it looks like the Donald has acquired the same problem many men his age get: Men-o-paws.
A.H. CUSACK, Laclede, Idaho
A recent article on the breakup of Donald Trump and Marla Maples was inaccurate in many ways, but particularly by the fact that I asked Miss America for a date. The real story, unfortunately, goes the other way. A letter was sent by Carolyn Sapp asking me to witness, in Hawaii, “the solar eclipse of the sun.” I turned this kind invitation down on the basis that I would rather watch it in New York with Marla Maples than in Hawaii with Carolyn Sapp. At any rate, I never did get to see the solar eclipse.
DONALD TRUMP, New York City
ANN AND ADAM CLYMER
I feel deep sympathy for Mr. and Mrs. Clymer, who lost their daughter to a drunken driver. However, as a 21-year-old bartender who works to pay for college, I can’t help but feel the action taken against the waitresses and bartenders who served Mr. Webster will do more harm than justice. From experience, I know it is sometimes impossible to know when someone has had too much to drink. We are not psychics who know how much people consume before coming to our establishment. We all try to use our best judgment and act responsibly, but we can’t stop everyone, and it’s not our fault when some drunk gets into trouble.
KIT HARTLEY, Niantic, Conn.
We grew up laughing with the delicious rhymes and nonsense words of Dr. Seuss, and now our children do too. It is a shame that he didn’t merit more than one page and one paragraph in your magazine. Is our society so obsessed with movie stars and gossip that these are the only covers that will sell magazines? I hope not. Theodor Seuss Geisel will be remembered long after the famous name-of-the-day is gone.
REBECCA DOTLICK, Carmel, Ind.