MANILA—"It was painful," said Claudine Barretto, although she was not referring to the injury on her hand that she sustained following her confrontation with sister Marjorie and niece Julia.
Claudine was talking about the "pain" she felt hearing Julia, who calls her "mama" according to Claudine, cuss at her.
"Alam mo iyong masakit sa akin," she told DZMM in an interview Tuesday night, as she was asked about her version of the events that led to the scuffle. "Alam ko na iyong pakiramdam na iyong anak mo ay saktan ka nang ganoon."
Claudine alleged that it was Marjorie who walked up to her at the wake of their father, and began letting out taunts. She said that Marjorie was irritable thinking Claudine and Gretchen had invited a reporter to the wake to ask about the incident the day before.
That incident was her and Gretchen's first clash with Marjorie.
Claudine recalled that Marjorie was trying to provoke her by loudly bringing up Claudine's anxiety disorder. Claudine said she just laughed it off, though it just irritated Marjorie more.
"So napikon na siya kasi pinagtatawanan na lang namin. Tapos nakaupo ako noon and sabi niya, 'Ano lalaban ka? Lalaban ka?' So tumayo ako. Sabi ko, 'Oo, lalaban ako.'" Claudine recalled.
It was that point that it became physical. "Dinuro niya ako sa ulo . . . Ayon na, sinampal ko siya talaga," Claudine said.
She defended her actions by saying that she did not want her children to see her being humiliated in public.
She also confirmed for the first time that Julia did not just shout curses at her, but also physically attacked her.
"Kaya I don't understand iyong, 'It's not my battle,'" Claudine said, referring to Julia's statement. "It's your battle cause you were the one who laid hands on the person you call 'mama.' It's painful."
Claudine said she did not intend to reveal Julia's involvement in the scuffle, knowing how it would affect her niece's career, but she said that she was forced to because of the claims Julia's mom, Marjorie, made during her interview with "TV Patrol."
"Ayaw ko na sanang ilabas ito . . . because whatever people say, my heart breaks kapag nasasaktan siya [Julia]. Nasasaktan rin ako. Para akong nanay na nagtatampo at nagagalit."
In her interview, Marjorie said Claudine made a scene after she had refused to shake hands with Gretchen in front of President Rodrigo Duterte, who had tried to reconcile their family.
In her version of the story, Marjorie recounted how Claudine told her: "You're unbelievable!'"
Marjorie said she felt disrespected, moreso when her younger sister claimed that she just wanted attention.
In her account of things, Claudine did admit to her "unbelievable" snide remark. But she said that she only said that because she was irked at how Marjorie rejected the "handshake."
Claudine noted that Marjorie might have only said "no" to shaking Gretchen's hands because she thought she was being made to offer their sister a "mano."
She, however, still felt that the way Marjorie behaved in front of the president was "disrespectful."