‘Step by Step’: Suzanne Somers Drops Details on Behind-the-Scenes Issues on Show

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Fans of the wildly popular 1990s ABC Friday night television lineup, otherwise known as TGIF, remember it well. From Urkle’s antics on Family Matters to the ever-growing (and loveable) Tanner family on Full House, the weekly TGIF event was always a fan favorite.

In fact, the lineup was responsible for presenting to us another favorite. It was one that brought the iconic Suzanne Somers back to primetime, Step by Step.

After the popular show ended in 1997, Angela Watson, the teen actress who portrayed one of Carol’s daughters Karen, found that her parents had misspent the $2.5 million.

Pretty much every penny she had earned during her ten years as a child actor. In fact, the actress says, it was all gone.

‘Step by Step’ Star’s Story Is Far Too Common In the Business

The show’s star, Suzanne Somers wasn’t aware of the issues Watson was experiencing behind the scenes of Step by Step.

However, the actress says, there were signs that Watson’s parents were a little too “entitled” when it came to their daughter’s career.

“Her parents were at the studio every day,” Somers says of her on-screen daughter’s real-life parents. “Maybe they felt they were entitled, I don’t know.”

“Clearly, Angela was too young to work out any kind of financial deal for herself,” Suzanne Somers continues. “So if that’s what happened, I’m really sad about that.”

The former Step by Step star went on to note that, in her business, stories like this are all too common.

“That’s the trouble with child actors: they reach a point where they need their own lives,” Somers notes.

In fact, Somers sees a similarity between Watson’s story and the very public battle that pop-sensation Britney Spears is facing.

“It’s kind of like what’s going on with Britney Spears and her father,” Somers notes. “He needs to let go.”

Somers’s Own Experiences

Suzanne Somers is no stranger to family issues that occur behind closed doors. The former Three’s Company star has long been upfront about her own past, growing up with an abusive and alcoholic father.

 “I remember being berated over and over again as a child,” the actress has said of the abuse she suffered as a child.

“I realized how bullies have to bully you to stay with you: ‘You’re nothing, you’re stupid, you’re hopeless, you’re worthless, you’re a piece of crap.’” Somers explains. “And I believed it.”

Standing Up For Herself

In 2019, the former Step by Step star remembers the moment she decided she would take back control. Standing up to the abuse.

After being asked out to the junior prom, Somers and her mother spent time making her perfect dress. But, the star recalls, her father decided to tear it to pieces one evening during a rage.

“My mother came in screaming, ‘Are you crazy?’ and he punched my mother in the breast and knocked her down to the floor,” the actress told Closer Weekly in an interview.

“I picked up my tennis racket and, with all my might, I brought it down on his head,” Somers continued.

Suzanne Somers went on to say that she eventually realized that while she was afraid of her father, he was also afraid of her.

“From there on in, I was afraid of my father, but what I realized, later on, is that he was afraid of me,” the actress explains. “For that one moment, I got the attitude of, ‘I’ll show you. You can’t do this anymore.’”