Everyone has complications in their life, but Lisa Brennan-Jobs had more than her share as the daughter of Apple Icon and creator, Steve Jobs. Lisa has written her story in the new 400-page book, “Small Fry.” On the Today show this morning, 9/5/2018, she spoke with Hoda Kopi about the ups and downs of the paralyzing struggles of trying to be part of her dad’s life, she called “Steve.”
Kopi told Brennan-Jobs it was really hard to read parts of the books, bringing back her own memories and realizing the pain she must have felt as a child. One example was Brennan-Jobs overhearing her mom begging for money from Jobs and having to take the phone away from her mom to confront her dad.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs was born to Job’s girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, in 1978. He denied the child as being his but after DNA tests confirmed he was the dad, the court ordered he pay $500 a month for child support and medical insurance until Lisa was 18. This arrangement was signed, she writes, and “four days later Apple went public and overnight my father was worth more than two hundred million dollars.”
Brennan-Jobs says this book was very hard to write but cathartic at the same time.
Most notably, for years Jobs refused to say that he named the Lisa computer after his daughter, crushing her until finally admitting it while visiting U2 star Bono with his daughter years later.
Beyond not taking responsibility for his daughter, Jobs was cold to Brennan-Jobs for years, called her fat, refused to pay her college tuition initially and played mind-control games with her when she would want to be out with friends as a teenager. He made her quit her post as high school student body president because it meant she wouldn’t be home at night, and thus, not a functioning member of his family.
Brennan-Jobs says in her memoir that during her childhood, Jobs only tucked her in one time. She never saw her photos on his walls and her name was not mentioned in his memoir. When she went to live with him for a few years, she was ordered not to see her own mother for 6 months. He once invited her to attend a wedding with him and wife Laurene Powell Jobs, but it turned out that was just to babysit their young son Reed. They wouldn’t let her sit with them at the wedding.
“For him, I was a blot on a spectacular ascent, as our story did not fit with the narrative of greatness and virtue he might have wanted for himself,” she wrote. “My existence ruined his streak. For me, it was the opposite: The closer I was to him, the less I would feel ashamed; he was part of the world, and he would accelerate me into the light.”
Brennan-Jobs says Jobs could be thoughtful at times; playing piano with her, taking her on a family trip to Hawaii, and watching his favorite old movies with her.
He admitted on his deathbed that he had stopped speaking to her and returning her e-mails a decade earlier because he was mad that he wasn’t invited to parents’ weekend at Harvard, where she attended college.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked.
“I’m not too good at communication,” he replied.
The book was released on September 4, 2018.
Ref. usatoday.com, Today/NBC, businessinsider.com, nypost.com
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