Ryan O’Neal Helps Son Through Grief On ‘The O’Neals’
First Published: June 16, 2011 5:05 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Ryan O’Neal is working to repair his tumultuous relationship with daughter Tatum O’Neal, a journey documented in the pair’s Oprah Winfrey Network show “The O’Neals.” He also has another relationship he is working on – with his son Redmond, a recovering addict still reeling from the loss of his beloved mother, Farrah Fawcett.
“How’s your relationship with Redmond right now?” Access Hollywood guest correspondent Jayde Donovan asked Ryan about his son.
“It’s good. He’s a wonderful kid,” Ryan said.
“He was struggling with heroin addiction,” Jayde said.
“Well, he’s not struggling now, but you know, it’s always a tense situation with that kind of drug,” Ryan explained.
“And he’s doing well?” Jayde asked.
“Uh, huh. He says he is,” Ryan said.
After years of heroin addiction, a stint in jail and rehab, Ryan and Farrah’s now 26-year-old son is trying to leave his past behind.
In their new OWN series, Ryan brings Redmond for his first visit to his mother’s grave.
“I had never seen it, he had never seen it, and I wondered, ‘Do I see it with him and let the cameras come along?’” Ryan said of making the decision to make the visit on camera. “And he was cooperative, you know. He was helpful and it was sad, it was very sad.”
The bond that Redmond and Farrah shared was obvious in “Farrah’s Story,” the documentary that followed Farrah through her cancer struggle. Viewers even saw the heart wrenching moment when Redmond was briefly released from jail so that he could see his mother before she died.
Still in leg cuffs and his jumpsuit, he crawled into her bed.
“He misses her terribly,” Ryan said of Redmond’s pain. “He tries to hold on to his… his lid, but I see it sometimes, it slides out. I don’t know what to say.”
In another moving moment in “Farrah’s Story,” Farrah read from the journal she wrote for Redmond, a moment where she said she would always be there and Ryan said he still has those personal books.
“I have these journals I’ve been reading to him from those years, when he was a baby, how much we loved him, took care of him,” Ryan said. “He likes hearing that, but he’s kind of a self-contained character. He doesn’t say much, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not feeling it. Maybe it means he’s feeling it even more. Hope not.”
“It’s nice that you can support each other through that,” Jayde commented.
“Yeah. We both loved her and I look at him as an extension of her,” Ryan said.
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