- In her new autobiography, Lisa Brennan-Jobs describes her fraught relationship with her father, Apple founder Steve Jobs, and her stepmother, Laurene Powell Jobs.
- Jobs’ poor treatment of his first child, particularly during her early years, has been widely reported in the past.
- But in the book, Brennan-Jobs describes new details about her teenage years and her interactions with her stepmother.
- In one searing story included in a New York Times profile on Thursday, she recounts how her stepmother acknowledged that she and Jobs were “cold people.”
It’s long been known that Apple founder Steve Jobs was often a poor father to his eldest child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs.
In the years since he died, it has also been hinted that she didn’t have a great relationship with her stepmother, Laurene Powell Jobs. But Brennan-Jobs’ new autobiography offers some new colour to her interactions with her stepmother, including one telling vignette recounted in The New York Times’ profile of her on Thursday.
Though she spent her childhood with her mother, Chrisann Brennan, Brennan-Jobs went to live with father and stepmother in the 1990s when she was in high school. As Brennan-Jobs recounts in her biography, it was a difficult period for her. When she got involved in clubs and other activities, Jobs admonished her for not spending more time with the family, Brennan-Jobs said. He once insisted she watch – because it was a “family moment” – while he touched his wife sexually and moaned and undulated theatrically in front of her, she added.
But that wasn’t all. At one point when she was a teenager, Brennan-Jobs went to a therapy session with her father and stepmother in which she told the therapist she felt lonely and had been wanting her parents to tell her good night in the evenings.
Powell Jobs’ response, according to Brennan-Jobs: “We’re just cold people.”
In a joint statement to The Times, Powell Jobs, her children, and Jobs’ sister Mona Simpson questioned Brennan-Jobs’ overall account of her relationship with Jobs and her family but did not directly dispute any of her stories.
“Lisa is part of our family, so it was with sadness that we read her book, which differs dramatically from our memories of those times,” they said.
They continued: “It was a great comfort to Steve to have Lisa home with all of us during the last days of his life, and we are all grateful for the years we spent together as a family.”
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