Roseanne Barr’s daughter Jenny Pentland is speaking out for the first time about the abuse she suffered at a handful of facilities for troubled teens in the ’80s and ’90s.
“I was locked up,” Pentland says in the latest issue of PEOPLE.
Between the ages of 13 and 18, Pentland was sent to a series of reform schools, psychiatric institutions and a wilderness boot camp in response to “acting out” that she attributes in part to the pressures of her mother’s instant Roseanne fame.
In her new memoir, This Will Be Funny Later (which is out Jan. 18) Pentland, 45, recalls being placed by her mother and father, Bill Pentland, in various facilities upon the recommendation of education and behavioral experts.
“I was getting bad grades, and I was mouthy, cutting my arms and smoking cigarettes,” she says. “Just depressed.”
Her older sister Jessica had allegedly already been sent to a psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles after stealing Barr’s car for a joyride.
“I think there was a fear of us spiraling out of control,” Pentland says.
She says that as of today, she has a good relationship with both her parents.
Pentland, who went on to struggle with PTSD years later, admits she witnessed or experienced emotional or physical abuse at several of the places she was sent to. All of these places are now closed or under new ownership.
But she says “the worst abuse I feel I suffered was having my free will removed — the lack of freedom.”
While she is now happily married to husband Jeff, and is a proud mom to five sons, Eitan, 21, Cosmo, 16, Otis, 14, Buster, 12, and Ezra, 18 months, Pentland is now speaking out in hopes of raising awareness about the deeply flawed programs that are advertised to troubled teens.
“These places are still out there and I want it to stop,” she says. “I don’t think about what I’ve lost anymore. I think about what other people are losing right now or what they’re going to lose if it doesn’t change.”
The memoir is described as “a darkly funny and frank chronicle of transition, from childhood to adulthood and motherhood–one woman’s journey to define herself and create the life she always wanted.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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