They Haven't Spoken in 20 Years
Anthony Hopkins walked out of Abigail and her mother, Petronella Barker's life when she was just a baby.
Oscar-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins has shown his versatility as an actor in movies like The Lion in Winter, The Remains of the Day, The Dawning, Amistad, and many more. Knighted in 1993, he spent a lot of years on stage in the late 1960s before doing movies, according to Biography. But The Silence of the Lambs was one of his best roles where he played the sociopath, Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
As successful as he was in his career, it was quite the opposite in his personal life. Before marrying Stella Arroyave in 2003, his wife of 17 years, the actor was married twice. Her first wife was Petronella Barker with whom he tied the knot in 1966. They shared a daughter Abigail Hopkins but sadly, she never received the love of her father. According to a report in 2018, Anthony had not spoken to his estranged daughter for 20 years.
According to The Telegraph, the 82-year-old actor confessed in an interview with Radio Times that he didn't even know if his daughter had made him a grandfather or not. “I don’t have any idea,” he said and continued, “People break up. Families split and, you know, ‘Get on with your life.’ People make choices. I don’t care one way or the other.”
The Meet Joe Black actor walked out of his marriage with Barker when Abigail was a 14-month-old baby. According to Birmingham Live, the actor moved to America to establish himself in the industry and that affected his relationship with Barker. Coupled with his alcoholism, their marriage soon crumbled and he left her and Abigail in 1973 for Jenni Lynton who would become his second wife.
The Times revealed, when the Fracture star was told that his comment about him not caring about his daughter was cold, the actor clarified by saying, “No, I wasn’t cold. I’m not cold. Her choice is her choice."
He continued, “You know, I did the best I could, but you know, okay, I think if somebody doesn’t want to be part of my life, fine. Go and do whatever you want. I wish her well and all that, but I don’t want to talk about my daughter. Those things are over.”
“I’ve got no blame," he added and continued, "People do what they do. And I don’t understand it and it doesn’t bother me. I can’t waste my time worrying about it. And I’m not cold, I’m just thinking, ‘Oh well, that’s the way it is.’”
In an interview with The Telegraph back in 2006, Abigail recalled that she hardly saw her father or experienced his love. “I would see him, but maybe once a year,” she said and continued, “There is a little bit of sadness, but I have to get on with my life. It has always been like that. See him, and then not.” She also revealed that she was just 18 when she saw herself going down the path of addiction and alcoholism due to severe depression.
She believes that she got the latter from Anthony who has admitted that he has struggled with alcoholism in the past too. She said, “I came very close to killing myself. It was the worst time I can remember. I totally abused my mind and body. The root cause was the fact that my father and I had an intermittent relationship when I was young. I was angry and there was a lot of grieving going on."
The father and daughter reconciled for a brief time back in the 1990s when Anthony got Abigail short cameos in his movies, Shadowlands and The Remains of the Day, following which they lost contact completely. As per The Telegraph, Anthony in an interview with Howard Stern in 2008 said that there's almost no contact between the two.
He said, “I hardly ever hear from her. She probably has good reasons. I guess we are estranged. I hope she is well. She is too busy and has to do her own thing. I think she is in England somewhere. Life is life. You get on with it."
Abigail who's now found her passion in music and acting as she's become a singer-songwriter, actress, and acting coach, told The Telegraph that she's open to the idea of bettering her relationship with her father but only if it's mutual.
She said, “It would have to be a two-way thing, though,” she explained. “I don’t know how I would feel about it. We have never really been close. We’ve never discussed big life issues. Because, well, our relationship was always so sporadic. I’ve never felt I could discuss those sorts of things with him.”