Nancy Reagan was a tranquilizer-popping child beater during Ronald Reagan's years as governor of California, says their estranged daughter.
Patti Davis said she received daily beatings as she got older, and when she tried to tell her father, he wouldn't believe her."He said I was lying and he said I was crazy and he, I remember feeling like there were miles between us," the 39-year-old Davis said in an interview to be broadcast Thursday night on ABC's "PrimeTime Live." "I think it was the first time I really realized I was never going to know what it would feel like to have a father."
Davis said her mother existed in a tranquilizer fog and took up to five or six a day. "Yes, there was abuse in this family," she said. "There was emotional abuse. There was substance abuse. That's what went down."
Excerpts of the interview were published in Wednesday's Daily News.
In a statement, the couple told the newspaper: "We have always loved all of our children, including our daughter, Patti. We hope the day will come when she rejoins our family."
Davis, who has not spoken with her parents in several years, said the beatings began when she was a little girl and continued through college.
"There was hitting," she said. "There was emotional tyranny in a way. I think the most prominent memory I have of my childhood is that I didn't measure up. I could never get it right."
Davis appeared on the ABC program to talk about her autobiography, "The Way I See It," scheduled for release Thursday. It is her fourth book. Last year she published a novel featuring a domineering mother and a detached father.