BETTY WHITE, embroiled in a bitter 30-year-old feud with her formerly troubled stepdaughter, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.
The beloved TV star – who is in the midst of an unlikely career resurgence at age 88 – has rebuffed all attempts at reconciliation with Martha Ludden, daughter of game show legend Allen Ludden, despite the humbled woman’s desperate pleas for forgiveness.
"Betty’s stepdaughter has repeatedly tried to make amends," a family friend told The ENQUIRER. Martha is now an attorney who works with the disabled.
"She has dedicated her life to helping others. But Betty is stubborn. She still believes Martha made cancer-riddled Allen’s final days a living hell. I think as far as Betty’s concerned, Martha is dead to her!"
Martha, 60, confirmed the sad, decades-long feud.
"The last time I spoke with my stepmother Betty White was 30 years ago," she told The ENQUIRER."I don’t want to talk about it."
Martha’s mother died in 1961, and two years later, Password host Ludden married Betty when Martha was 13, her sister Sarah was 11, and older brother David was 15.
Still hurting from her mother’s death, Martha resented Betty’s presence in her family.
"Martha was young, and she deeply opposed the marriage," divulged the friend.
"She was very angry at her father, and made it clear she did not like Betty. Her relationship with her was strained from the start."
When the actress entered the three Ludden children’s lives, she tried to instill order with strict rules, said the friend. Martha despised her new stepmother’s discipline.
"Martha had to dress properly and be in the house no later than 9 p.m. She rebelled and fell into the wrong crowd when she was a teenager.
"Allen used to argue with Martha constantly over her shady friends and her anger toward Betty. Her tumultuous relationship with her father caused him a lot of grief."
After Ludden’s death from stomach cancer, Betty had little to do with her stepdaughter.
"I think Betty blamed Martha for making Allen’s last years nothing but misery and heartache," said the friend.
Since her rebellious youth, Martha turned her life around and obtained a law degree in 1990. She moved to Washington, D.C., where she does volunteer work for people with disabilities, revealed the friend.
"She now lives alone, and to this day, 30 years later, Betty still won’t have anything to do with her.
"She doesn’t acknowledge her existence and has refused every attempt by Martha to make amends. Even when Martha’s sister tried to intercede, Betty refused.
"I think that Martha would admit that she has no one to blame but herself, and all she wants to do is apologize to Betty for the pain she caused.
"But that door was shut a long time ago. And Betty won’t budge."