- Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times
- Laurene Powell Jobs is pushing back against a memoir published by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve Jobs’ daughter, which talks about the legendary Apple cofounder.
- Powell Jobs said the memoir, which presents an ugly picture of Jobs’ behavior, does not reflect “the husband and father we knew.”
- But Chrisann Brennan, the mother of the book’s author, has praised the depiction of her daughter’s childhood as accurate.
A new memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs about growing up with her father, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, sounds absolutely brutal – and some members of the Jobs family are pushing back.
The book, which has been excerpted in Vanity Fair and detailed in an extensive feature in The New York Times, details Jobs being frequently cruel and cold towards his daughter, and engaging in arguably inappropriate behaviour – with some critics arguing what is described qualifies as “abuse.”
But Laurene Powell Jobs, the legendary entrepreneur’s wife who also features in the book, issued a joint statement with Jobs’ sister Mona Simpson disputing Brennan-Jobs’ characterization of her father:
“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. The portrayal of Steve is not the husband and father we knew,” they said.
“Steve loved Lisa, and he regretted that he was not the father he should have been during her early childhood. 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.”
Chrisann Brennan, however, Brennan-Jobs’ mother, thinks the depiction is spot on. “It was horrendous for me to read,” she told The New York Times. “It was very, very hard. But she got it right.”
She added: “She didn’t go into how bad it really was, if you can believe that.”
The New York Times details several incidents in Brennan-Jobs’ childhood that directly involved Powell Jobs. On one occasion, Jobs seems to have behaved inappropriately in front of his daughter with his wife. The newspaper wrote:
“Ms. Brennan-Jobs describes him embracing Ms. Powell Jobs one day, ‘pulling her in to a kiss, moving his hand closer to her breasts,’ and up her thigh, ‘moaning theatrically.’
“When Ms. Brennan-Jobs tries to leave, her father stops her: ”Hey Lis,’ he said. ‘Stay here. We’re having a family moment. It’s important that you try to be part of this family.’ I sat still, looking away as he moaned and undulated.'”
On another occasion, during a therapy session with Jobs and Powell Jobs, a teenage Brennan-Jobs complained that “she feels lonely and has wanted her parents to say good night to her.”
Powell Jobs’ response, according to the book: “We’re just cold people.”