Sunday, February 04, 2007

A History Of Violence

It's been quite a long time since there was violent drama from former pretty-boy actor Ryan O'Neal and his kids and/or wives and/or live-in life partners, but over the weekend their nasty family history repeated itself--and then some . Star's website reports that O'Neal was arrested for beating up his son Griffin and Griffin's much younger girlfriend, possibly with a gun:
Early Saturday morning, Feb. 3, Ryan, 65, was arrested by Sheriff’s Deputies from the Malibu/Lost Hills station, after fighting with his son Griffin O'Neal, 42, and Griffin's 22-year-old girlfriend, Joanne Berry. Deputies went to Ryan’s Malibu beach house at 12:30 a.m. after receiving a call that Griffin and Joanne had allegedly been attacked by the elder O’Neal.

“Ryan O’Neal was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon,” Lt. Crystal Miranda of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Dept., tells Star. Joanne Berry “received minor injuries,” was treated at the scene by paramedics and then taken to Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center. Although Lt. Miranda wouldn’t specify what type of weapon was used by O'Neal, the actor was also charged with "negligent discharge of a firearm." MIranda added that Ryan was released from jail Saturday morning, Feb. 3, at 5:30 a.m., after he posted $50,000 bail.

This isn't the first time Ryan and his son Griffin (his mom was Ryan's ex-wife, the late actress Joanna Moore) have gotten into a brawl. Reportedly, when Griffin was 14, Ryan knocked out his son's two front teeth!
The Associated Press notes that:
Griffin O'Neal was given an 18-day jail sentence for not performing 400 hours of community service ordered by the judge who found him guilty of reckless boating in the 1986 accident that killed Gian-Carlo Coppola, the son of director Francis Ford Coppola.

Griffin O'Neal also pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge in 1989 and was sentenced to probation. In 1992, he pleaded no contest to charges he shot at his estranged girlfriend's unoccupied car. At the time, he agreed to spend a year in a live-in drug rehabilitation program and serve five years on probation.

I totally remember the knocking-out-Griffin's-teeth thing, but I'd almost forgotten that Griffin had killed Francis Ford Coppola's son in a boating accident. Then you've got all the Tatum O'Neal stuff (crazy jealousy from Ryan over her Oscar for "Paper Moon," drugs, alcohol, John McEnroe) and the whole Farrah Fawcett as possible Ryan abuse victim (who just a couple of days ago announced her triumph over anal cancer--and Ryan apparently was her "rock" who helped her through her recovery to give payback for when Farrah stayed by his sid when he had cancer). Sweet, tiny, swaddled, 7 pound, 6 ounce baby Jesus! What an incredible soap opera! If it was a book you wouldn't believe a word!

As always, I think that Ryan O'Neal should try and parlay these terrible events into a VH1 reality show, possibly called "Saving Ryan's Privates" or "Kneeling O'Neal" (if he re-embraced the Roman Catholic Church). I would be repulsed and horrified by such a show--and yet fascinated! It would be just like "Shooting Sizemore" and "Breaking Bonaduce," except with the entire O'Neal extended family in various combinations of therapy, rehab, chemotherapy, prison, and court-ordered anger-management courses!


(mug shot via TMZ)

One of my not-so-secret shames is that I like the movie "Irreconcilable Differences," starring Ryan O'Neal, Shelley Long, a young Drew Barrymore and an almost unrecognizable Sharon Stone and will watch it whenever it comes on the TV. It has some funny bits about Hollywood in it and Drew is sad and adorable. Really!

Dear God, this is the second time in less than two weeks that I've admitted to liking a Shelley Long vehicle. (The other one was "Losin' It.") What is wrong with me? Who am I? What is going to become of me? AAAAAAAAAAAH!

UPDATE 02/05: The A.P. reports that Ryan O'Neal is claiming self-defense:

It was unclear what started the dispute, but O'Neal's manager, Neil Hassman, claimed the actor was defending himself after his son began "wildly swinging a fireplace poker." Griffin O'Neal's pregnant girlfriend was slightly injured in the incident, and was treated at a hospital and released, Hassman said. He maintained that her injuries were caused by the younger O'Neal.

"It is unfortunate that what should have been an internal family disagreement was escalated to the point that Ryan felt he had to defend himself from Griffin's aggressive, extremely menacing physical behavior," Hassman said in a statement to "The Insider."

Hmmmmm....hard to know what to think. Stay tuned for more details as they develop!


sparee said...

OMG! It keeps getting better!

Griffin chasing Ryan with a fireplace poker... Ryan ducking in the nick of time only to have the fireplace poker whack Griffin's girlfriend in the head.., Ryan running off to retrieve a gun and then firing into a banister... Wow. You are so right, if this were a book I wouldn't believ a word!

Shannon said...

My grandmother taught at a ritzy private school in LA in the late 60s and early 70s, and a lot of actor's kids went to school there, including Griffin O'Neal. She always said that she felt sorry for him, because he was a really sweet little boy and Ryan was a belligerant drunk who always yelled at Griffin whenever he could be bothered to show up for school functions, which wasn't often. So, I've always disliked Ryan O'Neal. I wish Griffin had connected with the poker, frankly.

By the way, Johnny Carson was a crappy father, too, according to my granny. Once he got called in to a parent-teacher conference because his son was in trouble for cursing. Carson turned to the teen and said, "Where the hell did you learn to say shit like that?" Gee, I wonder?