In a 1987 interview with TV reporter Bryant Gumbel to promote her own memoir, This ‘N That, Davis said: ‘We can hardly have the same close relationship after a book like that is written about you. Mother and daughter never saw each other again or resolved their differences.
It’s easy to understand why Davis was hurt by Hyman’s book.
‘Not just her threatening Justin when she was here, but that business of her calling that friend of hers in Chicago...saying that I’d been hypnotized and she had to set me free.'She claimed other people had said Davis ‘called them to say that I was being held against my will, that I’d been brainwashed and needed help to escape from here.’In an open letter to Davis at the end of the book, Hyman claimed the tell-all was the only way she could reach her mother, whom she likened to the manipulative Gone With the Wind heroine Scarlett O’Hara.
At the time of the book’s release, facing criticism that the memoir was a cruel attempt to smear the ailing star, Hyman told the audience of the TV show AM Philadelphia: ‘I love my mother very much.
The portrayal of the actress as a drunk, fading star who staged suicide attempts to manipulate her daughter and was so possessive that she hated her British son-in-law, was so hurtful it severed their relationship for good.
At the time of its publication, Davis was a 77-year-old breast cancer survivor who had had several strokes. I lost her, but that’s that and I say in my book that realizing that she had written this kind of a book about me was as catastrophic as the stroke was to me.‘It’s something, of course, that I will regret deeply, all the rest of my life, yes.’Two years later Davis died aged 81 in 1989, after her breast cancer had returned.
The four-time divorcee largely raised her three children alone.
A neurotic, controlling and manipulative drunk who indulged in the occult and spent decades trying to break up her daughter’s marriage – that’s the shocking portrayal of legendary film star Bette Davis by her eldest child B. Hyman (pictured together in 1965) Hyman, now 69, who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia is a born-again Christian who says on her website that she ‘received God’s solution to her dysfunctional relationship with her controlling mother' In the second episode of Feud, which aired on Sunday, viewers get a glimpse of that volatile mother-daughter relationship, which was evident during the 1962 filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
” He kicked me away a couple of times.’Davis and Merrill finally divorced in 1960, much to Hyman’s relief.
But after that she claimed Davis became more possessive.
Davis had Hyman with her third husband William Sherry, who walked out when the little girl was still an infant.
Pictured, the trio at Hyman's Christening Hyman said Davis followed her and her husband around the country, even moving to Connecticut when they bought a home there.She wrote: ‘There is no doubt you have a great potential as a writer of fiction.‘The two time Oscar-winner added: ‘You constantly inform people that you wrote this book to help me understand you and your way of life better.‘Your goal was not reached.