Tatum O’Neal Has 'Never Seen a More Scary Side of Addiction’ With Her Brother

By Brent McCluskey 06/02/15

Younger brother Redmond O’Neal has had a long history with substance abuse.

Redmond and Tatum O'Neal

Redmond O’Neal, 30, son of actors Ryan O’Neal and the late Farrah Fawcett, has battled drug addiction and been in-and-out of jail for years. Redmond has had his ups and downs, but recently his probation on drug and weapons charges was revoked and a no-bail bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Now, his half-sister Tatum O’Neal fears for her brother’s well-being.

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

Tatum, 51, has also struggled with drug addiction and so understands firsthand the dangers associated with it. “I wanted him to have a safe place to put his head down, not on the streets and not with his dealer,” said Tatum. “He’s been so kind to me. I try to love him so he can love himself.”

Tatum has encouraged Redmond to seek help and has worked to fill the void left by the death of his mother, Farrah Fawcett.

“I told him how beautiful and how strong he is and ‘You can do this,’” said Tatum. “I asked him, why don’t you come to a [12-step] meeting with me? He said, ‘I don’t want to go to any meetings.’ I wanted to mother him. Now that his mother is gone, I wanted him to know there was a woman in his life he could turn to. But unfortunately the disease has overtaken him.”

Both sides of the O’Neal family have a history of drug and alcohol addiction, much of which is chronicled in a new novel titled Our Town written by Tatum’s son, Kevin McEnroe.

“I think more than addiction and alcoholism, what was passed down to us was not believing in yourself—and that pairs very well with alcohol and substance abuse,” said McEnroe.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.