To: MIT.EDU!witchhunt Date: Sun, 23 Oct 94 17:20 EDT (c) The Chronicle Publishing Co.; The

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From:!!aaron (Aaron Larson) To: MIT.EDU!witchhunt Date: Sun, 23 Oct 94 17:20 EDT (c) The Chronicle Publishing Co.; The San Francisco Chronicle October 17, 1994, Pg. E1 The Wrath of Roseanne's Baby Sister; Media Weary Geraldine Barr Writes Her Side By Leah Garchik Answering the telephone in the living room of her sunny flat in San Francisco, Geraldine Barr, who looks almost exactly like her big sister Roseanne, is fluent in the lingo of celebrity. "I'm doing an interview," she says to one caller. "I'll need hair and makeup in the morning," she informs another. "Welcome to my life," she tells a visitor, with the slightly studied air of someone finding reassurance in every ring of the phone. As she moves into the kitchen and sits down at the red Formica table to talk, her sincerity is so convincing that it blurs the contrast between what she's saying and what she's doing. "WE FEEL EXPLOITED" A few days ago she had the distinct un-pleasure of seeing herself portrayed in a made-for-Fox-TV movie that dwelt on her sister's accusations that her parents abused her. "We all have seen what fame is about," she said of herself and her family. "We feel really exploited. It has caused all of us to become really protective of our own lives." But her suitcases are out and she is preparing to go on national tour to promote her own tell-all book. "I'm tired of the media," she says, pouring a cup of coffee for herself and a reporter. "I think they're rapists and idiots." For 10 years, writes 37-year-old Geraldine in "My Sister Roseanne" (Birch Lane Press; $ 19.95), she plotted, conspired, produced, managed and orchestrated the fabulous career of her sister Roseanne. Roseanne's success was the result of meticulous strategy and planning, writes Geraldine, from early comedy club appearances to the Big Break on Johnny Carson, to the conception of the TV sitcom heroine, wisecracking household goddess of blue-collar women across the nation. Enter Tom Arnold, the barely successful comedian who found fame when he became her sister's second husband. "He is the embodiment of evil," says Geraldine, describing her former brother-in-law as a cocaine-addicted Svengali out to dominate her sister for his own reasons. Much to her dismay, she says, Tom and Roseanne never signed a prenuptial agreement; the divorce fight over money hasn't even begun yet. "It's going to be horrible," says Geraldine. PERSONAL COMMENTS Her comments in the book are much more personal: The lovers got a charge out of rough sex, she reveals; oh, and Roseanne told her that Tom has a small penis. It was during Tom's treatment for cocaine addiction that therapists uncovered the fact that he had been abused as a child. Geraldine implies that his recovered memory led to her sister's climbing on the abuse bandwagon. Roseanne's "memories," as related to Sally Jessy Raphael and Leeza Gibbons, begin with her mother fondling her genitals when she was 6 months old. Every member of the family denies that such improprieties took place. "I love my mother and father," says Geraldine. "I do not believe they are pedophiles. She has done all this in the guise of healing, and that is where my rage is." As she writes and talks about her big sister -- five years older -- Geraldine emphasizes that her grievances go way beyond the abuse issue. When Roseanne fired her as manager, she charges, she fired every other person who had helped make her a success, in order to have free reign to reinvent herself as a celebrity talk-show guest, The Victim. "As a sister," says Geraldine, "I want to tell her, have some reality. You're famous, but you're still the one who stole my Barbie doll, and I don't give a s---. I've got to make sure you're grounded." Although Geraldine says she loves her life in San Francisco, where she has lived for years with her partner Maxine Epstein, she feels discarded by the woman her book calls her capital-S Sister. After she was fired, Geraldine sued Roseanne, claiming that she was owed money for her role in her sister's career. The suit was thrown out because it was six months past the statute of limitations. It's easy for Roseanne, the star, to get on a talk show and spill her story, but Geraldine says that it's been nearly impossible for her to respond. Birch Lane Press agreed to publish the book only on the condition that she accept personal responsibility for the defense of any lawsuits that might be filed by the Arnolds. $ 25,000 IN LEGAL FEES Geraldine says it cost her $ 25,000 in legal fees to respond to a suit filed by Roseanne and Tom based on the publisher's catalog description of the book. While writing the book, says Geraldine, she held down a variety of jobs, doing accounting, working for insurance companies and temporary agencies. Time will pass, and Roseanne's career is likely to ebb and flow. Will it be possible for the Sisters to mend this rift? Barr responds at first with a dignified literary anecdote: She's been reading a biography that describes an encounter in Paris between Gertrude and Leo Stein, long-estranged brother and sister. Wordlessly, says Geraldine, the siblings stopped, faced each other and bent their bodies forward, each bowing deeply in a gesture of silent respect. The moment passed; they walked away. Brother and sister never made contact again. "I'd like that," says Geraldine, pausing for a moment before recalibrating her facial expression into a smile. "I could meet her at Caesar's in Vegas. I would train for six nights. Girl fights are so much fun. We'd get in the mud and wrestle." After Geraldine was fired, she recalls, she met with Roseanne in a hotel room, in hopes of ironing out some financial settlement. Roseanne was adamant about refusing to give her any money but the two found themselves locked in a sisterly embrace. In the Las Vegas mud wrestling ring, says Geraldine, "That hug would happen at some level.... And then I would kick her a--."


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