Ryan O’Neal Said His ‘Wild’ Kids Provoked His Temper & Even Been Arrested after Fight with Son
Actor Ryan O’Neal has had a rocky relationship with his older children and went back and forth with them regarding their strenuous upbringing in their adult life.
In April 2011, CNN reported that Ryan O’Neal and his children Tatum and Griffin O’Neal had trouble with the law. The reports presented that their issues included drug involvement, in addition to a lingering scandal.
In an audio report by Pierce Morgan, the journalist interviewed Tatum and asked her whether her father gave her brother Griffin drugs. To which she replied: “You’ll have to ask him.”
Actor Ryan O'Neal arrives at LACMA 2012 Art + Film Gala at LACMA on October 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, the next image shows him and his daughter Tatum O'Neal and a guest | Photo: Getty Images
RAISING THE KIDS
Morgan then asked her why she was hesitant to say. The actress shared they had a show they were busy with at the time and wanted to refrain from saying anything incriminating.
Tatum explained she did not want to say things that would have made it difficult to make peace with and have it appealing while adding:
“I know for sure my dad made a lot of mistakes. I’m sure that he’s living with them today.”
Ryan O'Neal with his wife, actor Joanna Moore, and daughter, Tatum, sitting on grass in front of a stone wall | Photo: Getty Images
Meanwhile, her father denied seeing her doing drugs when she was around eleven or nine years old. O’Neal insisted he never witnessed his daughter getting drunk, smoke or do anything because he saw her every day.
During an interview with Morgan, the star mentioned his hostile relationship with his daughter and shared that he believed Tatum despised him.
Morgan also noted how O’neal had stepped in when his then-wife Joanna Moore, with whom he shares Tatum and Griffin, was dysfunctional. The former couple got married in 1963 but divorced three years within their union.
The “Love Story” actor previously took his former wife to court and requested legal custody of the kids because they struggled on the ranch where they lived with her.
It was an attempt that was denied by a judge who suggested O’Neal give Moore another chance. O’Neal agreed that even though Moore did struggle, she adored their children.
Ryan said his children helped develop his temper, revealing they were too wild.
Moore approached him and made a deal that he could assist her financially only if she would sign off the kids to him. O’Neal had planned to put them in a school out of state so that he could not give them more influence like she did.
He agreed he would not take the child support payments away, and they would continue with Moore. Their agreement materialized, and they put the children in a school in Arizona. O’Neal said Griffin managed to settle in while Tatum struggled. Sadly their mom died of cancer.
Ryan O'Neal arrives at LACMA 2012 Art + Film Gala at LACMA on October 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images
TATUM VS DAD
When asked how he was as a father, the 80-year-old said he was a great parent who was hands-on. But it was not all rosy as he said it was challenging:
“There was never the mother and the father. It was just the father playing both parts.”
During the interview, Morgan played O’Neal a clip from his previous interview with Tatum, who talked about her drug addiction, stating she has gone to hell and back.
The now-57-year-old admitted she almost died and that she used to do cocaine. Tatum said she had lost her children before but managed to get them back.
The author added that she put her family through a lot while mentioning she was in a good place afterward. She hinted at wanting a chance to talk to her dad and get to know her, hoping that he would be proud of her.
O’Neal revealed he and his daughter were incredibly close when she was younger. The father and daughter went everywhere together.
The California native said Tatum was smart growing up and had childlike instincts that were spot on. He also revealed that her instincts were especially on point regarding him and other women.
However, when she was 15 years old, Tatum felt a sense of abandonment from her father, who dated Farrah Fawcett at the time. Amidst their ongoing disputes, O’Neal shared that his girlfriend wanted him and Tatum to fix their relationship.
However, he said she made it hard for them to find peace, adding she was not supportive of him and was cruel. In addition to their ongoing pain, O’Neal’s longtime partner Fawcett died from cancer in 2009. The pair lived together before she passed.
The former couple had been in an on-and-off relationship for 30 years. Speaking about Fawcett’s passing, O’Neal said if it were not because of the turmoil in his family, she would have probably been still alive.
In addition, his daughter established herself as a drug addict at age eleven, and when she was 13 years old, she attempted suicide a few times. However, O’Neal refuted the claims and said it was only one attempt.
Despite their strained relationship, the father and daughter have one thing in common: making movies. Tatum made history by winning an Oscar when she was only ten years old in the 1973 film “Paper Moon.”
While her father became a household name for portraying Oliver in “Love Story” in 1970, which became a global hit, his other movie, “What’s Up Doc,” was also a great success.
O’Neal shared he was in England for nearly two years making it and was with his daughter the entire time while noting they were a team.
However, she accused him of having a temper, but O’Neal was quick to defend himself and said his temper is triggered while he admitted he does have one. O’Neal said his children helped develop his temper, revealing they were too wild.
GRIFFIN TELLS ALL
Meanwhile, in May 2015, his son Griffin did a tell-all about breaking away from their dysfunctional family and revealed they had been destroyed by drug and alcohol addiction.
The actor emphasized that their common denominator was drugs, alcohol, and depression, a never-ending cycle. With that said, he had to walk away from all of it. He added:
“My mother was an alcoholic, and she took weight-loss pills and other drugs.”
In addition, his long battle with drug addiction started when he was only nine years old. Griffin revealed he had to self-medicate his entire life because he felt pain everywhere.
He shared during that time, it was during the ’60s and ’70s, and he and his sister Tatum had a rough time. The 56-year-old has been arrested and has had ten DUI’s.
Like Tatum, Griffin also had a problem with cocaine. Three years before speaking up about his family struggles, he got involved in a fight with his father.
IN A FIGHT WITH DAD
The incident led to O’Neal being arrested at his Malibu home on assault and firearms charges. Sheriffs’ Deputies had determined he assaulted Griffin during a family dispute.
As a result, he was booked at the Sheriff’s station on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm.
After the arrest, O’Neal’s manager released a statement claiming his client defended himself against his son from aggressive physical behavior.
O’Neal once revealed he no longer had a relationship with his adult son and was relieved that he did not. Both Griffin and Tatum accused their dad of allowing drugs around them when they were 11 and 12.
O’Neal disputed the claim and instead said the siblings had a wonderful childhood. Specifically, he explained Tatum was a millionairess by the time she was 12 years old and traveled the world.
He revealed she met Queen Elizabeth, Michael Jackson, and had everything she wanted. O’Neal insisted Tatum was not honest about the experiences of her entire childhood.
In September 2020, O’Neal reunited with his estranged daughter and grandkids after years of the family feud. His grandson Sean McEnroe shared a family photo with his grandfather Ryan including his mom, Tatum.
The image also included his siblings, Kevin and Emily. McEnroe captioned his photo, saying it was one of the most memorable photos of his life. He revealed the last time they were all together was in 2003.
O’Neal had two more kids, Patrick from his second marriage with actress Leigh Taylor-Young and another son, Redmond, whom he shared with Fawcett.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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