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Phil Collins’ Estranged Daughter Lily Pens Open Letter Forgiving Him

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Actress and model Lily Collins is reaching out to her father Phil Collins in an effort to heal their sometimes distant relationship.

She admitted he was not “the dad I expected” in a newly published open letter, but added, “I forgive the mistakes you made. And although it may seem like it’s too late, it’s not. There’s still so much time to move forward.”

Lily is the only child from antique dealer Jill Tavelman’s marriage to the longtime Genesis frontman, which lasted from 1984-1996. She was born in 1989. Her letter is featured in a collection of essays titled Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.

When Collins and Tavelman split, 5-year-old Lily moved with her mother to Los Angeles, and saw her dad only during school holidays after that. She said the separation led to a life of lingering insecurity.

“We all make choices and, although I don’t excuse some of yours, at the end of the day we can’t rewrite the past,” Lily wrote. “I’m learning how to accept your actions and vocalize how they made me feel. I accept and honor the sadness and anger I felt toward the things you did or didn’t do, did or didn’t give me.”

Elsewhere in Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me, Collins delves into her battles with eating disorders, which she said were brought on in part by stress over her father’s subsequent split from Orianne Cevey in 2008. “I couldn’t handle the pain and confusion surrounding my dad’s divorce,” she noted. “And I was having a hard time balancing being a teenager with pursuing two different grown-up careers.”

Phil Collins has since reunited with Cevey, as he emerges from a lengthy retirement from performing. He’s the father of five children with three different wives. Collins dealt with his emotional 1980 split with Andrea Bertorelli on 1981’s Face Value, his debut solo album.

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