LOS ANGELES, April 23 (Reuters Life!) - Comic actor Chevy Chase describes a childhood of beatings and psychological abuse at the hands of his mother and stepfather in a new, authorized biography, the New York Post reported on Monday.
Chase, one of the first members of the “Saturday Night Live” TV sketch comedy troupe and the star of such films as “Fletch,” and “Caddyshack,” told writer Rena Fruchter for the book that he lived in fear of his mother, a concert pianist who suffered from depression and panic attacks.
“She would say to me, ‘Ten lashes on the backs over your legs every day for a week at 5 p.m.,” Chase says in the book, to be published by Virgin Books USA next month and titled, “I’m Chevy Chase ... And You’re Not.”
“How can you hold on to that kind of anger against your kid?,” Chase says. “I knew I was a ‘bad boy,’ but I didn’t know that everybody wasn’t punished in the same way I was.”
Chase, 63, told Fruchter that his mother’s second husband also subjected him to “emotional and physical abuse that sometimes bordered on torture.”
Both Chase’s mother and stepfather are now dead, but the entertainer, who also starred in “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” was unable to forgive them, according to excerpts published by the New York Post, which obtained an advanced copy of the book.
“I always turn to it in my mind,” he said. “I’ll never forgive them. At their graves I didn’t. It was too hard for me. You would think a grown man could shake it off, as the coffin was lowered, to say, ‘I forgive you.’ I don’t forgive.”