Gretchen Barretto's walkout last April 7 stirred headlines on why she suddenly got affected when asked about a rumor concerning her and sister Claudine Barretto. On The Buzz yesterday, April 11, Gretchen finally spoke up regarding the issue between her and Claudine.

Photo: Noel Orsal

Gretchen Barretto made headlines last April 7 when she walked out in the middle of a press conference when a reporter brought up the subject concerning her and sister Claudine Barretto.

It can be recalled that the sisters' last argument was in 2005. Gretchen remembered the conversation she had with her sister after they made amends in 2007.

"Nagkabati kami," she related to The Buzz. "Sabi ni Claudine sa akin, 'Gretch, promise me na we would never ever fight again.' Sabi ko, 'I promise.'"

This year, another feud erupted between the two sisters but the reason is anybody's guess. Some say it was because their shows were pitted against each other—Gretchen's Maalaala Mo Kaya episode for ABS-CBN and the pilot episode of Claudine on GMA-7.

Gretchen debunked this rumor by revealing, "Kasi kapag gumagawa kami ng project, dumadaan kay Boy Abunda [her manager] 'yon, e. Tatanungin niya kung sino ang director, ano ang istorya, location and cut-off and requirements ko. Hindi naman tinatanong kung kailan ilalabas at kung ano ang itatapat. Originally, before Holy Week ilalabas ang episode ko. Ang nangyari lang, hindi kami kaagad natapos. Hindi ko naman alam na may show siya at hindi ko alam na ikakasama ng loob."

THE CAUSE. That alone, if true, is easy to fix. But another rumor suggests that the issue between the two Barrettos runs deeper than just showbiz. It was reportedly family-related.

When asked about this, Gretchen, who preferred not to talk about it at the start, finally gave in and explained her side of the story.

"Totoo na hindi kami nag-uusap ni Claudine," admitted Gretchen, "at hindi ko talaga maintindihan kung bakit at kung ano nangyari."

It has been said that the two last talked to each other last November 2009 at the Star Awards for TV. "Nagkita kami sa isang family gathering," related Gretchen. "Sabi niya sa akin na 'I'll pray for you,' and I really felt so good. Kasi alam niya na Star Awards nga and nominated ako."

After the awards, however, Gretchen said that it was the last time she heard from her sister. Last February of this year, the sisters crossed paths in a family gathering though they only exchanged hi and hellos. A month after, March 5, before Gretchen's birthday, she called Claudine to invite her for a private gathering, but she never got any answer. This was something that Gretchen could not help but  worry about.

"So, March 6, tinext ko na siya at tinatawagan ko siya," said Gretchen. "Sabi ko na hangga't hindi niya sagutin, e, hindi ako titigil. Gusto ko talaga malaman and I felt sad on my birthday na parang may kulang. What happened, e, tinawagan ko siya at sinabi niya sa akin na, 'I'll call you back, I'm in a shoot.' Sabi ko, 'Okay.' Nag-return call siya and sabi ko, 'Babe, what happened to us?' Yun lang ang tinanong ko sa kanya at sinabi niya na, 'Yeah, you know we really have to talk kasi marami akong gusto ilabas.' Basta hindi maganda ang nangyari. Nagalit siya."

The third suspected reason behind their feud was the details of their issue being known by the public.

"Kaya ako nagulat sa launch, e, may nagku-quote na reporters asking me questions na kinu-quote siya [Claudine]," Gretchen said. She then admitted, "I really don't know how to deal with it na familiar mga sinasabi nila. Masakit talaga sa akin ang sinabi ng reporter na, 'Galit na galit daw si Claudine at buong pamilya sa iyo. Galit ang mommy at daddy sa iyo dahil hinayaan mong pagsabungin kaming dalawa.'"

This question from the reporter affected her so much that Gretchen had to call her brother to confirm it.