In an emotional therapy session filmed for her upcoming TV show Finding Sarah, the Duchess of York broke down in tears as she recalled how her late mum, Susan Barrantes, would slap her and claim that a vein on Ferguson’s face was the “sign of the devil”, which she tried to beat out of her.
Her sister Jane Ferguson contradicted the reports, insisting she could not recall any such abuse, and Ferguson has spoken out to explain her claims.
In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, she states that TV’s Dr. Phil McGraw – who was holding the therapy session – was the one who pointed out her mother’s behaviour was wrong and abusive. And Ferguson insists a difference between U.S. and British humour and upbringing is what caused her comments to be taken out of context.
She explains, “My mother always said when she was… going up to the sweet shop, ‘Sarah comes from the postman’, because I had very tight red curls, big blue eyes and I didn’t look anything like mum, and that’s what I said to Dr. Phil. She also said, ‘She’s got red hair and a temper and we’re going to beat the devil out of her.’ That’s just mum and dad and the way they brought us up.
“It was just banter. That’s what I said to Dr. Phil and he said that’s not alright and I said, ‘Why isn’t it alright?’ It wasn’t anything at all, but in America, it’s a big problem for me.”