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Personal Struggles of Ryan O'Neal and Late Farrah Fawcett's Troubled Son, Redmond

Odette Odendaal
Jul 27, 2019
11:00 A.M.
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Redmond Fawcett developed longterm problems with addiction and crime as he struggled to cope with the volatility between his parents, Ryan O’Neal and the late Farrah Fawcett during childhood.

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During an interview with the “Today” show in 2012, Ryan O’Neal recalled the tumultuous years with Farrah Fawcett. Ryan had three children, Tatum, Griffin, and Patrick from his previous relationship and a son, Redmond with Farrah before they split in 1997.

Redmond O'Neal leaves court after his final progress report at LAX Courthouse on October 9, 2012, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

Redmond O'Neal leaves court after his final progress report at LAX Courthouse on October 9, 2012, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

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Ryan had poor relationships with his other children while different career paths for Ryan and Farrah caused a lot of fights between them. He admitted that there “was violence at times,” and to the extent that Redmond, only six years old at the time, felt he had to do something about it.

The young Redmond walked into a room where Farrah and Ryan had a heated argument. Wearing his Winnie the Pooh pajamas, Redmond held a knife and threatened to stab himself if they didn’t stop fighting.

“He couldn’t stand it,” Ryan said. “It stopped us, I must say. We put a stop to that. And we moved the knives up higher, harder to reach.”

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Echo Matthey, Redmond O'Neal and actor Ryan O'Neal at the Farrah Fawcett Foundation's "Tex-Mex Fiesta" 2017 at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

Echo Matthey, Redmond O'Neal and actor Ryan O'Neal at the Farrah Fawcett Foundation's "Tex-Mex Fiesta" 2017 at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

Ryan didn’t think of himself as a good father and blamed his failings on not being “trained” to be a father. “Looks like it, doesn’t it? Sure looks like it," he said. "I suppose I was.”

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In 2008 Redmond got arrested on drug-related charges, an account Ryan later wrote about in his memoir, "Both of Us: My Life With Farrah" published on March 2012. Ryan didn’t agree with the way his father portrayed events and disputed them in a statement to Today.

"Not one of the statement attributed to me on Monday about the book are close to true," he said. "I haven't even read the book. But I am now aware of what's in the book about the 2008 incident and arrest. Nothing my Dad has written about that upsets me at all."

 Redmond O'Neal leaves court after a successful progress report on March 27, 2012, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

Redmond O'Neal leaves court after a successful progress report on March 27, 2012, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

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At the time of his statement, Redmond was in rehab as part of a year sentence. His probation got revoked in 2011 after Redmond admitted to using heroin while in court-ordered rehab, and pled no contest to heroin and felony gun possession.

Redmond’s substance abuse began during his teen years as Ryan told Vanity Fair, “He’s been in 13 rehabs.” But Ryan later told PEOPLE that a contributing factor to his son’s struggles is that he “never recovered from the loss of his mother.”

After a battle with cancer, Farrah Fawcett passed away in 2009 at the age of 62. Her son’s addiction problems escalated, and he got sentenced to three years in the California Department of Corrections in 2015.

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Redmond O'Neal arrives for his final progress report at LAX Courthouse on October 9, 2012, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

Redmond O'Neal arrives for his final progress report at LAX Courthouse on October 9, 2012, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images.

“I love him, but I have never seen a more scary side of addiction. He’s got addiction problems so bad that it breaks my heart,” his half-sister Tatum told PEOPLE. “Nobody knows what to do with Redmond. From what I’ve seen, there is no way he’s going to survive.”

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In June 2018, Redmond got arrested on several charges after he went on a “crime spree.” Between May 2, 2018, and May 8, 2018, Redmond stabbed three people, robbed a 7-Eleven Store in Venice, California at knifepoint, and threatened to stab several others.

Charges filed by the DA included two counts of assault, one count of attempted murder, one count of brandishing a knife, criminal threats and battery. But Redmond maintained that his addictions are not the cause of his problems.

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"It’s not the drugs that have been a problem, it’s the psychological trauma of my entire life—my whole life experiences have affected me the most," Redmond told Radar Online. "Fighting with my father, being kicked out and living on the streets, going to jail, being put in a psychiatric ward, being embarrassed all the time, just because of who my parents are."

Of Ryan’s four children, Patrick had been the only one who didn’t have issues with the law or addiction. A course of life some attributed to the fact that he didn’t spend much time with his father, Ryan.

“Well, Patrick must not have ever spent any time with his Dad, he had to have been only raised by his mother, and that’s the reason he hasn’t gotten into trouble, says everyone,” Patrick told HuffPost in 2012.

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Leigh Taylor-Young and Ryan split up when Patrick was three years old and lived with his mother. Even so, he described his father as his “hero.”

“He likes to make people laugh. Some hit, some don’t. Hey, my dad dominated TV and movies for two decades,” Patrick added. “He supported his family, everyone, from the time he was twenty-one. This is the most generous man in the world. Way too generous, in my opinion.”

Ryan also has a rocky relationship with his daughter, Tatum. As a child, she starred alongside her father in “Paper Moon” in 1973, but their once-close relationship fell apart as she grew older.

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