Academy Award winner's model wife details how mother-in-law put her through the wringer, more on their fraught history


Relationships with mother-in-laws are notoriously tough. But Camila Alves’s experience with hers was especially brutal, the model revealed in August 2023. 

The Brazilian beauty started dating actor Matthew McConaughey in 2006. Six years later, the couple — who share three kids — got married. 

But for years, the Oscar winner’s mother, Mary Kathlene “Kay” McCabe, put Camila through the wringer before finally accepting her, Camila revealed on the Aug. 22 episode of “Southern Living’s Biscuits & Jam” podcast.

“She did all these things when I first came in the picture, right? She was really testing me,” Camila admitted. “I mean, really testing me.”

According to the model, Kay “would call me by all of Matthew’s ex-girlfriends’ names, she would start speaking Spanish with me in a very broken way, kind of putting [me] down a bit. I mean, all kinds of stuff.”

Keep reading for more on how Kay tortured her daughter-in-law…

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Camila Alves shared what she went through before she was finally able to get husband Matthew McConaughey’s mother, Mary Kathlene “Kay” McCabe, to accept her.

Eager to forge a bond with Kay, Camila invited her along when she booked an international modeling job.

“I got a job to go to Istanbul to go do a fashion show there, and that job comes with the perks of you get another first-class ticket, you get another night’s hotel room, you get this, you get the driver. And I was like, ‘Ma Mac, you’re gonna come with me,'” Camila recalled.

“The whole way there, the whole plane ride to Istanbul, she was telling me all these stories and putting all these things in my head,” Camila said. “When we landed, I was like, ‘OK, all right. Let me buckle up. Let me get ready for this situation.”‘

Then, on their third day away together, “I was taking her to her room, and she got into this whole other thing that… it’s not my place to share, and she starts crying, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ You know, ‘Ma Mac!” and feeling so sorry. And as I put her to bed, I look at her and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh. She’s full of s***.'”

So Camila decided to stand up for herself and fight back…

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After being messed with by Matthew McConaughey’s mother, Mary Kathlene “Kay” McCabe, while they were in Istanbul together, “I just [flipped] it on her and brought my spicy Brazilian, Latin side, and I let her have it. So I went back at her, and we had it back and forth, back and forth,'” Camila recalled on the “Southern Living’s Biscuits & Jam” podcast in August 2023.

“And then at the end, she just looked at me and she was like, ‘OK. Now you’re in,'” Camila shared. “All she wanted was for me to fight back.”

But it hasn’t been all roses since then…

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Though Camila Alves eventually earned mother-in-law Mary Kathlene “Kay” McCabe’s respect when she fought back, they still sometimes have to work through friction.

“From that day on, that night on [in Istanbul], we have the most amazing relationship, and I have so much respect for her, she has so much respect for me,” Camila said on “Southern Living’s Biscuits & Jam” podcast in August 2023, though she admitted, “It can get tricky sometimes.'” 

Still, Camila explained, “We always end with a good laugh and a joke.”

Kay has also admitted she didn’t make it easy…


During an appearance with daughter-in-law Camila Alves on “The Drew Barrymore Show” in 2020, Matthew McConaughey’s mother admitted that even though she and her son’s wife now “get along really well together,” she wasn’t exactly welcoming early on.

“We were testing each other,” Mary Kathlene “Kay” McCabe said, leading Camila to interject, “I would say more you were testing me.”

Kay admitted that was true, explaining, “I mean anybody who was going to hang out with my son, I wanted to know a little bit about. So yes.”

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