At one level it was a joke, but it also bled into their self-images. They were beautiful women, accomplished and with a rich father whose huge wealth made them heiresses. But they remained unattached until strangely late in their lives, perhaps because potential suitors were cowed by the prospect of measuring up to Newman. 'They feel compelled to live up to some sort of an image.' She gravitated, she confessed, to ' doggylooking guys' who were distinctly unlike her father. 'I was always asking myself: "Do they want to lay me for myself or because I am Paul Newman's daughter?
" ' But none of the problems the girls had could compare with those of Scott, Newman's first-born and the only boy in the family.
As a boy, he had been prone to tantrums and Paul would jokingly refer to him as 'Mad Scott'.
'A lot of outsiders regard being the child of a public figure as a very privileged life,' said one of them, 'but it can be draining and very painful.' The children from his first marriage - Scott, Susan and Stephanie - were particularly troubled, their woes partly a result of being the children of divorce, moving between the homes of their mother and father and at times feeling like outsiders in their new family.
Paul Newman, though a Hollywood megastar for 50 years, never thought much of fame.
He hated the intrusions it brought into his private life.
' Jokes like this aside, the effect of his fame on his family - his three children from his first marriage and his three with his actress wife Joanne Woodward - was devastating.
'When the kids go anywhere with him,' Joanne said, 'they can be pushed aside by fans, as if they don't count, as if they're nothing in themselves.' Their difficulties in growing up with such a celebrity of a father were not helped by his limited parenting skills.
On the surface, the Newman household was a merry ménage of casual comfort, home-cooked meals and lots of pets.