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The more the messier: Barretto brother joins fray, defends Gretchen vs mother, Claudine

Joaquin and Gretchen Barretto.

Hours after Barretto matriarch Inday came to daughter Claudine’s defense in a scathing open letter to Gretchen, her son Joaquin — older brother to Gretchen, Marjorie and Claudine — released a statement late Wednesday, coming to Gretchen’s rescue in a brief but damning open letter to their mother.

First, Joaquin called her mother’s letter “shocking and hurtful”.

“But what bothers me most is that while she attacks my sister Gretchen and pictures her as evil personified, she seems to have forgotten the truth,” he said.

Joaquin wrote that their mother had put Claudine on a pedestal, magnifying her achievements while labeling daughter Gretchen as a mere ST Queen.

However, he said it was Gretchen who stood as the family’s breadwinner since she joined showbiz at an early age.

“(W)ho took over the role of her parents, worked at the age of 12, gave up her education to put her siblings to school?” Joaquin asked.

He added that it was Gretchen who provided for the family, paying the rent, electricity and even their father’s hospital bills when the latter suffered from a heart condition.

The bitter family feud stemmed from the bashing received by Marjorie Barretto’s daughter, Julia, on Instagram. Julia, a former child star, was recently launched as a member of Star Magic, the Kapamilya network’s talent agency where Claudine once glittered as one of its crown jewels.

Barretto siblings Gretchen and Marjorie came to Julia’s defense by posting messages on Instagram directed towards an unknown user believed to be their sister Claudine. Both sisters were of one mind that it was Claudine who posted the hateful messages. Their salvo had apparently prompted their mother to take her youngest daughter’s side.

A photo of Joaquin's signed letter, which was handed out to media late Wednesday. (Anna Cañoneo/InterAksyon)

Although Gretchen remained mum on the issue, Joaquin answered their mother’s accusations point by point, even going so far as to admit that their family had been privy to Claudine’s condition and that it was their parents who had her put in a hospital to “save her from destroying herself.”

“Yes, Claudine is going through rough times. Again, if you truly love her you should take concrete steps to save her rather than hitting Gretchen simply because she is standing up to Claudine,” he said.

Joaquin also said his mother got her facts wrong about who started this latest feud between Gretchen and Claudine.

“You claimed that Gretchen has been calling Claudine’s children names to her face. But how is that ever possible when Gretchen had long stopped taking Claudine’s calls?” he pointed out.

Joaquin noted that it was Claudine “who had repeatedly said she was going to make an expose”. He said she made good on this threat with the bashing of Julia on Instagram, prompting Gretchen to defend Julia.

Joaquin also praised Gretchen by saying how she had protected him and his siblings for a long time, which makes him, believe that it is Gretchen who truly cares for Julia.

In closing, Joaquin issued a plea to their mother Inday to put a stop to the feuding “while there is still something to save”.