Cindy McCain refers to herself as an “only child” when she speaks about her childhood, despite the fact that she has two half-sisters. “It’s terribly painful,” said Kathleen Hensley Portalski, a sister, to the Washington Post. “It’s as if she is the ‘real’ daughter. I am also a real daughter.” Both Portalski and McCain are the children of Jim Hensley. Portalski is Henley’s daughter from his first marriage in the 1930s to Mary Jeanne Parks. He divorced Parks and married Marguerite “Smitty” Johnson in 1945. And McCain was born nine years later. McCain’s mother also had a daughter, Dixie Burd, from a previous relationship.
Portalski told the Post that she remained quiet for decades while her father lavished attention on his second family. But McCain’s repeated references to being her father’s only child finally became unbearable in the past few months. “I was his family too,” she said. And I know from personal experience exactly how she feels. Keep reading »