Did Ryan O'Neal shoot his son, Griffin? 2007 arrest incident and problematic relationship with his children explored
Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O'Neal passed away on Friday, December 8, 2023, at the age of 82. The news of the death of the actor, who starred in multiple TV soap operas and dominated the movie screen in the 70s, was announced by his son, Los Angeles sportscaster, Patrick O'Neal.
Patrick took to Instagram to announce the death of his father. The former is the late actor's son with his second wife Leigh Taylor-Young
"My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us,” he said on the platform.
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Ryan's eldest daughter Tatum, with his first wife Joanna Moore, also paid a loving tribute to the Paper Moon star. Tatum said that her father meant the world to her and that she loved him a lot, noting that she would "miss him forever."
"He meant the world to me. I loved him very much and knew he loved me too. I'll miss him forever and I feel very lucky that we ended on such good terms," Tatum said.
However, Tatum’s brother, Griffin O'Neal, has yet to respond to his dad’s passing in light of their troubled relationship.
The late actor was arrested for shooting his son Griffin in 2007 after he allegedly swung a fireplace poker at his father. At the time, the family was celebrating Ryan's third wife, Farah Fawcett's, 60th birthday.
The late actor had told police that the family had gathered to celebrate Fawcett's birthday after she was declared cancer-free after four months of treatment. It was during the same that Ryan's then-42-year-old son Griffin grabbed a fireplace poker and began swinging it.
Ryan revealed that he shot the gun at a banister to scare his son, who fled the scene. While Ryan O'Neal was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm, the charges were never pursued.
Trigger warning: This article may contain mentions of dug addiction, alcoholism, and mental health issues. Discretion is advised.
Ryan O'Neal's fractured relationship with his children explored in the wake of his passing
The Love Story actor was married three times to three Hollywood actresses with whom he fathered four children. Ryan O’Neal was first married to actress Joanna Moore, with whom he had Tatum and Griffin O’Neal.
Following that, he married Leigh Taylor-Young and the couple had one child, Patrick O'Neal. However, it was the actor’s tumultuous marriage to actress, Farah Fawcett that often made tabloid headlines. The couple, who had Ryan's youngest son Redmond O'Neal, were together until Farah passed away in 2009.
Ryan O'Neil’s troubled relationship with his children, notably Tatum, Griffin, and Redmond O’Neal was well documented in the media. The siblings collectively blamed their father for their addiction problems.
By the actor’s own admission in a Vanity Fair Interview in 2009, he was a “hopeless father, ” with substance abuse issues. He added that he was happy to be estranged from his kids as they were seemingly better off without his bad influence.
“I’m a hopeless father. I don’t know why. I don’t think I was supposed to be a father. Just look around at my work—they’re either in jail or they should be,” he told Vanity Fair.
The statement was concurred by Ryan O'Neal's youngest son, Redmond, who accused his dad of giving him drugs when he was 11. Redmond’s other siblings, Tatum and Griffin, who have also suffered substance abuse issues, have attributed their addictions to their father’s drug and alcohol problems.
Ryan O'Neal's eldest daughter Tatum O'Neal starred alongside her father in the movie Paper Moon when she was 10. She went on to become the youngest actress ever to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Their relationship was fractured after Tatum reportedly went through addiction issues. However, the father-daughter duo reconciled in 2020.
Ryan's eldest son and second child, Griffin O'Neal, who lives on the Mexico border after leaving LA in 2007 following the shooting incident with his father, spoke to People. He told the publication that his entire family was "absolutely destroyed to smithereens" due to drug addiction and alcoholism.
“The common denominator is drugs and alcohol and depression and it’s a never-ending cycle. I had to walk away from all of it. I’m done,” Griffin told the publication.
Griffin also revealed that he allegedly attacked his father Ryan O'Neal because the former was trying to help his half-sibling Redmond get sober. Griffin reportedly has not spoken to his father since 2007.
Ryan O'Neal's youngest son Redmond O'Neal has suffered through alcohol and illicit substance addiction and has been in and out of rehab facilities. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and antisocial personality disorder and was arrested multiple times over the years.
In September 2008, a probation check on Redmond O'Neal at his father's Malibu home led to the latter’s arrest for drug possession. However, he publicly denied that the drugs were his. Later, Ryan O'Neal pleaded guilty to the charge and entered a drug diversion program despite insisting he was trying to protect his son.
Following his last arrest in 2018 Redmond O'Neal was sent to a psychiatric hospital with no apparent release date.
While Tatum, Griffin, and Redmond have had mostly negative things to say about their father, the actor’s middle child, Patrick, has not publicly denounced the late actor. Patrick appears to be the only child of the late actor, who has had conventional success in life as a sportscaster.
Celebrities mourn Ryan O'Neal's passing
Ryan O'Neal's co-stars, including Barbara Streisand and Mia Farrow, remembered the late actor as an incredibly charming and funny actor.