“I forgive you for not always being there when I needed you and for not being the dad I expected,” she writes.
“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.”
The 27-year-old actress also opens up about her relationship with her famous father in the new book.
“Because my dad was often gone, I never wanted to do anything that would make him stay away even longer,” she writes in the letter. “I became extra careful about what I said and how I said it, afraid he’d think I was angry or didn’t love him. And the truth is, I was angry. I missed him and wanted him there.”
She reveals that a “terrible disconnect” developed between her and Phil as she got older.
In a section of her book titled “A Letter to All Dads,” the actress explains that her parents divorced when she was five years old. Her father then “moved from our home in England to Switzerland, where he stayed for more than 20 years.”
She writes that even though she knew her father loved her, many of her insecurities “stem from these issues with my dad.” She also reveals that it’s taken over a decade for her to resolve some of these issues.
The Rules Don’t Apply actress encourages readers to share an open letter, like hers, with their dads.
Lily assures Phil that she will always need her father and will “always be your little girl.”
She also writes: “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. I’m learning how to accept your actions and vocalize how they made me feel. I accept and honour the sadness and anger I felt toward the things you did or didn’t do, did or didn’t give me.”
Last year Lily spoke to People about her reasons behind writing the new book, and she revealed that Phil’s absence contributed to her longtime struggle with eating disorders.
“It’s through those moments of self-discovery and hard, hard times of struggling when you feel like you’re at your darkest moment, that the magic and the light comes through,” she said, “You go, ‘Wow, I went through this for a reason.’ As long as I know other people are going through the same thing, that makes that struggle a little bit better.”
Standing up and using our voices is an incredibly important and powerful thing but not when we're focused on wrongfully accusing and verbally abusing others. My book #Unfiltered is not about the other people in my life but instead, what I’ve learned about myself along the way. It's not about vilifying anyone. It's about sharing my experiences to hopefully help others. In this book, I discuss a lot of sensitive issues including a physically abusive relationship I was in. Please don't speculate, jump to conclusions, target or blame anyone you think may have been involved. Cyber bullying or any other form of bullying is not a joke. It’s incredibly serious. It’s not healing or helpful. My intent in writing this book was not to point fingers. Please only spend your energy spreading positive and compassionate thoughts. Use your voices for good, for inspiration. Spread love only. Always and Forever, Lily…
Lily is the only daughter of Phil’s second wife, American actress Jill Tavelman. He also has four other children to two other wives.
Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me was released March 7, 2017 and is available here.