In her new book, Lisa Brennan-Jobs explains the struggles of her childhood after being ignored and disregarded by her father, Steve Jobs.
She has also shared how the most part of her young life was her trying to figure out the shrinking world of her single mother and changing and renting houses whilst looking at her dad’s giant tech hub and luxurious life from afar.
In Lisa’s book memoir The Small Fry, which is coming out in September this year, she talks about her strained relationship with her father in a detailed manner and one that leaves the reader with a heart ache. Excerpts of her book were published in Vanity Fair followed by Lisa’s interview.
Steve Jobs and Chrisann Brennan were 23 when their daughter was born. Steve did not even publicly acknowledge Lisa as his daughter till she was two years old. Soon after her second birthday, the the court asked Steve Jobs to take a paternity test and provide child support. The also made Steve Jobs pay $500 for child support, back payments, and medical insurance until his daughter turned 18. Just four days after this decision, Steve Job’s company Apple went public, eventually earning $200 million.
Steve named his earliest computers ‘The Lisa’ but never accepted it in front of her until one day when she was on a yacht vacation with her father and step family, Bono the rock star asked Steve Jobs if the computer was named after his daughter, and that was the first time he accepted it.
Lisa now recalls her early memories with her father and the lies she used to knit in front of her friends, bragging about who her father was; she would tell her friends she lived in big villa and owned a Porsche when, in reality, Lisa and her mother were changing houses and sleeping in different friends’ living rooms. Steve often used to come to visit them but did not care the least bit about their financial and living conditions. Long before his death, he made it clear to Lisa that she would get nothing as inheritance. He even refused to give Lisa his Porsche, which he disposed off after a slight scratch on it.
However, she started visiting him more and more and shortly before his death Lisa started checking up on him nearly every week.
She says, “Before I said good-bye, I went to the bathroom to mist one more time. The spray was natural, which meant that over the course of a few minutes it no longer smelled sharp like roses, but fetid and stinky like a swamp, although I didn’t realize it at the time.”
She further writes in her book:
“As I came into his room, he was getting into a standing position. I watched him gather both his legs in one arm, twist himself 90 degrees by pushing against the headboard with the other arm, and then use both arms to hoist his own legs over the edge of the bed and onto the floor. When we hugged, I could feel his vertebrae, his ribs. He smelled musty, like medicine sweat.”
‘I’ll be back soon,’ I said.
We detached, and I started walking away.
‘You smell like a toilet.'”
During her visits, she began stealing things from her father’s house. She has revealed she would steal petty items like toothbrush and pillow covers. “After stealing each item, I felt sated. I promised myself that this would be the last time. But soon the urge to take something else would arrive again like thirst,” she said.