Can Mackenzie Phillips Outdo Whitney Houston's Oprah Revelations?


Seems like every episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show's new season features an exotic locale or exotic former crackhead, but for her show tomorrow, Oprah's spicing things up with a more recently practicing junkie. Mackenzie Phillips was arrested last year at LAX for possession of heroin and cocaine, but now, the former One Day at a Time actress is telling Oprah (just in time for her new memoir High on Arrival!) that she has a 31-year-old "family secret" to reveal. There's no telling yet what the secret will be, but if this Oprah episode is going to be worth the hype and the cameo from Valerie Bertinelli, there are plenty of things it shouldn't be. The main blacklisted topic is discussed after the jump.

If this episode is going to work, drugs cannot be the central issue of "the secret." Not only has Mackenzie Phillips's drug use been comprehensively documented over the past 30 years, but Phillips herself has done the publicizing. She has appeared on multiple One Day at a Time reunion specials and spoken about her drug abuse (and "recovery"), she contributed anecdotes during an E! True Hollywood Story, and her father's storied history with hard drugs has been documented in a number of TV specials and biographies. In fact, whenever Mackenzie Phillips earns a headline, a drug accompanies her name. Plus, let's not pretend that plight is at all surprising, given her heritage: Her junkie father John Phillips may have been a rock legend who gave the world the great hits of The Mamas and the Papas, but he also wrote "Kokomo."

The fact that Mackenzie Phillips managed to land Oprah is reason enough to believe something more sinister is afoot here. Since she insists on publicizing the "family secret" like a shocking plot-twist in a Sam Shepard play, I imagine the secret involves -- yikes -- sexual abuse or a buried baby. That would be tragic, yes, but as Phillips's half-brother Tamerlane notes in the video below, the entire Phillips family is a "bowl of dog urine" (compared to his guru, he says), and maybe nothing is shocking coming from this drug-addled, hard-living family.

Mind you, if Pat Harrington also reemerges and "reveals" a dozen saucy come-ons about fixing Ms. Romano's radiator, the entire episode will be the best in Oprah history. In that case: While we're here, enjoy the view. Keep on doing what you do. Unless it's drugs. Then don't talk about it anymore.