Return to Transcripts main page


Rep. Weiner Steps Down; Interview with Tatum O'Neal

Aired June 16, 2011 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight -- the lies, the scandal, the end of a career.


FMR. REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: So, today, I'm announcing my resignation from Congress.


MORGAN: What happens to Anthony Weiner now?

I'll ask the man who broke the story, Andrew Breitbart. Plus, Wolf Blitzer and Christiane Amanpour on the political fallout. And Dr. Drew Pinsky for Anthony Weiner's personal challenges.

Then, Tatum O'Neal -- her battle with addiction that held her back. She tells an incredible true life story. Drugs, her marriage to bad boy John McEnroe, and most of all, her troubled relationship with her father. Tonight, Tatum O'Neal talking as never before about Ryan.


MORGAN: Your brother said your father gave him drugs when he was, I think, 11. Did he do that to you?

TATUM O'NEAL, ACTRESS: You'll to have to ask him.

MORGAN: Why are you reluctant to say?

O'NEAL: Because we have a show we're doing and it just -- I just don't want to say any incriminating things that will go to make it harder to kind of make peace. I know for sure my dad made a lot of mistakes. I'm sure that he is living with them today.




MORGAN: Good evening.

An extraordinary moment just a few hours ago, Congressman Anthony Weiner announcing his resignation amid shouts from hecklers. Listen to this.


WEINER: Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible.

So, today, I'm announcing my resignation from Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodbye, pervert!

WEINER: So my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representative, and more importantly, that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused.


MORGAN: Suitably undignified toned a pretty undignified scandal.

And now here to talk about the political and personal implications of what happened, Wolf Blitzer, Andrew Breitbart, ABC's Christiane Amanpour, and Dr. Drew Pinsky from our sister network, HLN.

Wolf, let me start. I mean, you conducted the interview with Anthony Weiner which he lied through his back teeth -- it's another way of putting it. What was your reaction today when he finally resigned?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's pretty sad, because obviously he's an intelligent guy. He's a smart guy. But he's also a stupid guy.

He made a horrible mistake and he's paying the price for it -- not only politically but personally. And, you know, he's been married less than a year. His wife is pregnant.

We know Huma Abedin, his wife. She's lovely. She works for the secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

And it is a tragic story. It's a fall from power, a fall from grace. He's been humiliated and it's sad all around to see what has happened.

Having said all that, I wouldn't necessarily rule out the possibility that at some point down the road, maybe a year, five years, who knows, he'll try for a political comeback. I sense it's almost in his DNA and he would like to do it.

We'll see how he cope with the personal problems first though.

MORGAN: Yes. I mean, it seems to me, watching his resignation speech, it was carefully crafted. It was quite political. It was almost like a comeback speech in waiting.

Were you surprised by the tone of it?

BLITZER: I was surprised that he did it, frankly, to begin with. I thought he would resign, just issue a piece of paper and make a written statement, if you will. He came out there, spoke for about four minutes. You heard the one heckler heckling him. He didn't answer any questions and he immediately went back to deal with his personal issues right now.

But he did it. He went to that senior citizens center in Brooklyn where he launched his political career about 20 years ago when he ran for the city council. He's been in the House of Representatives for 13 years.

I would point this out, Piers. He's got almost $5 million in political campaign money on hand -- $4.5 million that he collected for a possible run for mayor of New York and he was the front-runner until all this scandal erupted. Another $350,000 or so from his campaign, his congressional campaign left over.

He can save that money, let it get interest and use it down the road if, in fact, he decides that he and his constituents, people in New York want to see him try the political road once again.

MORGAN: Andrew Breitbart, I mean, do you feel vindicated today and do you have any sympathy for Anthony Weiner?

ANDREW BREITBART, BRETBART.COM: Yes, I do feel vindicated. I do think that Congressman Weiner probably could have survived this scandal if he came clean on the first few days. It was -- it was Memorial Day weekend. And it probably could have been buried but he relied upon "Salon" magazine and "The Daily Kos" and the organized left wing media to try to change the subject, to cover up for what he did, and to try and cast dispersions on me and even to claim that I was the hacker.

So, I do feel vindication on this and do I feel vindication on a greater level, that this is what happens when we report stories at my Web sites, is that the organized left just throws everything that they can at us in order to try to impugn our motives. And we have to be extra careful. We were extra careful in this story. And at the end of the day, we were vindicated.

Do I feel sorry for him? Yes, especially when I was at the press conference last Monday, or two Mondays ago. And as much as I couldn't stand how he was handling the situation and allowing -- and even blaming me with Wolf Blitzer's show, how can you not feel for a person that's fallen, you know, from the highest of the highs in American politics to this absolute, you know, bottom.

MORGAN: Dr. Drew, let me bring you in here. I mean, this is a personal tragedy, never mind the professional meltdown for Anthony Weiner. He clearly got a big problem.

Would you view it as an addiction? If so, he said he'll be having treatment. Would you recommend that?

And how do people who have this particular online cyberspace sexual issue? How do they best deal with this kind of thing?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW": Well, there's several questions there. So, let me try to tackle each of them.

And one is to say that -- I know Wolf mentioned that this was stupid. And the fact is, it's not about intellectual or cognitive problems when people do these sorts of things. These are -- they can be conceptualized as addiction. I find that thinking them as addiction, treating them as addictions, tends to be a very useful model for guys like this.

And the fact is the way the Internet functions -- it sucks many people into these sort of behaviors that wouldn't otherwise have manifested. Clearly, this is something where in those moments when he was trying to evoke what it is he was trying to evoke -- again, these kinds of men that get involved in these sorts of relationships online tend to be narcissistic, tend to have empty emotional landscapes. Pointing out I don't know Representative Weiner, but this is sort of how this works.

And they're trying to evoke arousal and a feeling in those moments. And in those moments when they're compulsively pursuing this, they aren't thinking. So, even when they look back and all of us are shaking our heads and we go, what were this guy is thinking? So, when we look back, even these guys themselves look back and think, what was I thinking?

They weren't. In those moments, they're not -- they're thinking on an emotional level. Not a good intellectual or cognitive level. And then it's sort of has its own life to it. It's something they try to stop. They can't. And they need a lot of support and it takes a long time for this to get better.

Let me just also say, from the beginning, I've been hoping that he would put his personal life, the treatment of his condition ahead of his career. Because if you tried to hang in and deal with all this political fallout, there's no way he could have been effectively treated.

MORGAN: Christiane Amanpour, let me bring you in here, because you don't see this kind of scandal involving high profile women. Why is that?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR": No, you don't. And let me say that again and again -- no, you don't. And there was a very large and collective rolling of the eyes when all this happened because those of us who are women just say, excuse me? Excuse me, what is going on here?

And, look, all I can say is that the studies show that more parity, more diversity, more gender equality across the board -- whether it's in politics, whether it's at the top of business, whether it's in any other aspect of the public's sphere and public life does produce different results.

Research shows, for instance, that more women at top levels of businesses, those businesses produce more money. Those women who were hedge funders and who are, have a different and slightly less drama results in their investments and their hedge funds. And I spoke to one of the most senior women in the world right now, who is Christine Lagarde, who is the French finance minister and potentially, the new head of the IMF.

MORGAN: And she had a fascinating thing to say. We have a clip of this. Let's listen to this.


CHRISTINE LAGARDE, FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER: We inject less libido, less testosterone.

AMANPOUR: Less libido.

LAGARDE: Yes. We don't necessarily project our egos into cutting a deal. I honestly believe that there's a majority of women in such positions that approach power, decision making processes, and other people in the business relationship in a slightly different manner.


MORGAN: What I would say the counter argument, of course, it's all very well saying women would never do this kind of thing. There were at least six women we know of who were willingly -- or apparently willingly going along with this congressman in this chat.

AMANPOUR: This has been played to death and you've done all of the reporting on this. I will say though, in general, that they were not women who were in elected office. They were not women who were public. Some of them were having political discussions with him and they were not met with a political response. I'll leave it at that.

But what I'm saying is, that in a world where there is still not parity, even in the United States. In the most evolved democracy, there's only 20 percent of women in the United States Congress, right? There are these issues that really, it's a great time to address them because there is a difference in the way they deal.

And one of the interesting things that research has shown is that when men seek public office, the researcher at Rutgers have said, it's because they want to be somebody. And when women seek public office, if any type, is because they want to do something.

MORGAN: Dr. Drew, I'll bet you've got something to say about that.

PINSKY: Well, that was exactly the research I wanted to quote. I've done some of the research myself. And it is about the type of person that pursues aggressively these sorts of positions. The type of man is somebody who wants to be somebody. The type of women is somebody who wants to do something and make change.

And let's remind ourselves, by the way, the women who were participating with Representative Weiner were women who felt disempowered, who felt that this was their only way perhaps to get access to power, through a man's world.

MORGAN: Let me bring in Andrew Breitbart again.

I mean, Andrew, if you had the same information right now -- and for all I know, you may well do -- on one of your own, a Republican, would you have gone after him with the same enthusiasm?

BREITBART: I'm not sure about the same enthusiasm, but I probably would have gone after him. I don't like it when it's Governor Sanford. I didn't like it when it was Senator Craig. I didn't like it when it was Mark Foley.

As I look at the ledger, it seems to be about equal here between Republicans and Democrats. But the reason people come to me with these types of stories, is that they don't -- they think that historically, the media covers up for Democrats and goes after the Republicans with an extra zeal.

But if somebody wants to come to me that shows a congressman who's a Republican who like Congressman Weiner, who's putting himself into a position where he can be easily blackmailed, I think that doesn't do a service to the country or the Republican Party. So, I would definitely go after it.

MORGAN: Wolf Blitzer, let me end with you here.

BLITZER: Let me just add one point to what Andrew was suggesting. There is one U.S. senator, Republican, David Vitter, who did have an illegal relationship with prostitutes, not only did he not resign, he stayed in the United States Senate and he was just reelected and he is still a member of the United States Senate.

MORGAN: Yes, but an interesting thing --

BREITBART: Let me answer that. It was reported on. The mainstream media did its job. I wasn't out there saying that he needed to step down. I was just doing the job that many people would like the mainstream media to do when it happens to be Democrats.

For about 72 hours, I was the hacker. I will credit the mainstream media, specifically Dana Bash and Ted Barrett, the producer and reporter who doggedly pursued this and I believe changed the narrative from the fake hack story to the truthful story that we now know to have come to fruition.

MORGAN: OK. Wolf, let me ask you to sum up here about the political situation. It's been a massive distraction to the Democrats now for three weeks. Everybody who appeared in public has been asked about this. Is that distraction now over, do you think? And how much damage has it caused, if any?

BLITZER: I think it has caused damage to the Democrats because in these three weeks, they were really thinking they had a little roll going on Medicare, spending and other issues, taxes. And obviously, a lot of the media -- a lot of us paid a lot of attention more to the Anthony Weiner story than we did to some of the other issues and Democrats were frustrated.

That's why Nancy Pelosi and some of the others began this drumbeat calling for him to step down.

I suspect that, yes, there will be some interest in what happens to Anthony Weiner. But my gut tells me that everyone will move on.

And I think Andrew Breitbart is right. There are plenty of Republicans and plenty of Democrats who do these kinds of things. And this is an equal opportunity, kind of stupidity. I don't know if Dr. Drew wants to call it stupidity or whatever.

But both parties are guilty of these kinds of scandals.

MORGAN: And, Wolf, finally, I mean, Christiane made a pretty powerful argument there, that we should have more women in high office. Do you think that's a good idea?

BLITZER: Do I think it's a good idea?


BLITZER: Yes, I do.

MORGAN: Excellent. We'll leave it on that note.

Coming up: A woman who has had her own battles with addiction, Tatum O'Neal.



TATUM O'NEAL: If you ain't my pa, I want my $200.


O'NEAL: I want my $200. I heard you through the door talking to that man, how many you got not wanted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just hold on a second.

O'NEAL: I want my money. You took my $200.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you quiet down?

O'NEAL: I want my $200.


MORGAN: That was, of course, the role that made Tatum O'Neal a superstar, "Paper Moon." But her life off-screen has been to say the least, tumultuous, but certainly her relationship with her father Ryan. Their relationship was documented in a new series, "Ryan and Tatum - The O'Neals," premiering on Sunday on the OWN Network.

And Tatum O'Neal joins me now.

Tatum, how are you?

O'NEAL: I'm well. I'm well.

MORGAN: You're like part of my life. I mean, we were born almost in the same year. When you were winning all your Oscars, I was dreaming of winning Oscars. You're like a grown up of my entire life with you and your dad and the whole O'Neal kind of thing reverberating.

O'NEAL: Great. I like to hear that.

MORGAN: What do you feel about that?

O'NEAL: Like I've always thought you were part of our family. So --


O'NEAL: Here we are. We look a little alike, too.

MORGAN: We do.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: Maybe we are part of the same family.

O'NEAL: Yes, Morgan and O'Neal.

MORGAN: Yes, exactly.

Tell me this -- it's interesting. The show, I watched a bit of it last night. And fascinating, anyone who know the history between the two of you. Obviously fascinating. It's been checkered to put it mildly.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: Do you have an overwhelming sense of relief -- both of you, do you think, that at least you manage to get back to somewhere, even if it's not perfect yet?

O'NEAL: Exactly. I think that the conversation has started and that's all I could have asked for because we had such trouble just having the conversation, just saying hello, just getting to, you know, what's your day like, and can you come over for Father's Day on Sunday, which my dad asked me earlier today. And I said yes.

So we get caught in the little things. And I think having the cameras there, almost because we are actors in a way made it easier and made it more comfortable.

MORGAN: How did you feel when he asked you over for Father's Day? O'NEAL: I felt like I would be there for him because it's Father's Day and a day our show launches. And it seems like the right thing to do.

MORGAN: Have you watched it together yet?


MORGAN: What are you expecting?

O'NEAL: When we watch it together? Or when I watch it all together? I don't know.

MORGAN: You're going to be sitting there on Sunday, both of you.

O'NEAL: Well, I thought it's going to start -- it's going to be at 10:00. So, I was like -- I thought I would be tired so I might want to go back home. But if he wants me to, I will, you know? Because I want to tweet during it and everything. So, he doesn't know what that is and I don't know if I get reception in Malibu. So --


MORGAN: I mean, I get the sense that you probably, everywhere you've been in term of the media for the last 25 years, it is always -- tell me about your dad. Do you hate your dad? Are you talking to your dad? And so on.

O'NEAL: That's really true.

And during my book tour, a little bit, it has been -- so what does your dad think about the book? And what does your dad -- how did he get that temper? And at a certain point, I just said, you know, I don't know. And maybe should you ask him.

But you'll get to. And you're probably not even going to ask me about him.

MORGAN: Well, interesting, I will ask you about him only because I'm interviewing him after I interview you.

O'NEAL: Correct.

MORGAN: I've never been in that position. I think the whole dynamic of that is quite fascinating.

O'NEAL: For sure.

MORGAN: I kind of think with you that, you know, he -- when he pushed you, not pushed you but encouraged you into the same business --

O'NEAL: I would say pushed.

MORGAN: Yes. I mea, he was the adult doing the pushing.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: He was shoving you through the fame door which you didn't need to go through. When you see that little girl in "Paper Moon," a role that changed your life --

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: When you see that, do you wish sometime you had never been pushed into that world?

O'NEAL: I don't really think about that. I have -- I had the life that I have. I have the upbringing that I have. I have the experience that I have.

So, the idea of sort of, the other alternative would have been maybe to stay with my mom and her direction was going very badly. So, I often think, the best thing to do, or the best decision that could have been made between the two would have been to be with him and I've had kind of an amazing life. You know?

It's been hard. It's had some very big downs and some great ups but I don't think that I would take the girl next door even though there are other families that I look at that I kind of admire.

Lately, I've been thinking like the Middletons and the way they are with their father. There seem to be a very -- a big closeness there. And I often think, oh, how lucky they are. You know, the girls.

MORGAN: Yes, that must be, it must be painful to see any father/daughter relationship that you weren't able to enjoy. It's always been so fractious.

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: And it was complicated with your mother, too.

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: Not easy to look at people who had what I presume you would have lost to have had.

O'NEAL: Right, which seems like consistency --

MORGAN: Stability.

O'NEAL: -- stability normalcy, that stuff. And I --

MORGAN: You've always been his daughter.

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: So that would have brought with it a kind of residual fame anyway.

O'NEAL: Exactly. Exactly. And I was his daughter when he did "Love Story" before I had ever done "Paper Moon." And I used to go around bragging, my dad was in "Love Story."

MORGAN: It was an amazing film, "Love Story." I mean --

O'NEAL: Beautiful.

MORGAN: I've watched it countless time.

O'NEAL: Beautiful film.

MORGAN: Do you still watch it?

O'NEAL: Of course. And "What's Up, Doc"?

MORGAN: Do you?

O'NEAL: Oh, yes, with my daughter.

MORGAN: When you watch your dad in "Love Story," he plays such a kind of gentle character. Loving, you know, this sort -- I mean, ironically, of course, difficult relationship with his father in the movie. Then they sort of come to terms with right at the end.

O'NEAL: But you see -- I'm going to back away a little. That is my dad. My dad has that kind of seductive, soft, sweet, gentle, loving side. So, it's always so confusing when that side isn't always there and you're a little bit off balance because he has a temper side.

So, that's him. And that's what we al love. And that -- so, he isn't all bad and he isn't all great. But neither are any of us. It's just complicated.

MORGAN: What are the biggest misconceptions?

O'NEAL: About him?

MORGAN: Let's focus on you.

O'NEAL: About me.

MORGAN: Yes, do you think -- for people who don't know you.

O'NEAL: Perhaps that I would imagine that people probably think that maybe I'm sort of frivolous drug addict who has it all and sort of decided to throw my life away maybe. That isn't the case.

Obviously, I'm a very sensitive and quirky and sometimes weird person who, you know, fell into some hard times and has worked very hard to come back and to have the best life that I can have, raise kids and be a mom and be a worker among workers, and make a living and do all the things that as a sort of whole woman, I would have liked to do had I not maybe had the big problems growing up.

MORGAN: How much of the drugs played a part in the down side of your life? O'NEAL: I would say 98 percent. Yes. It's been very, very, it's had a very negative effect on me in all areas, both in my physical body, my financial world, my relationship with my children. I mean, it kind of has really screwed up every kind of possibility.

So, yes, I would have passed that whole thing and been fine.

MORGAN: Let's take a short break and come back and talk about --

O'NEAL: Sure.

MORGAN: I want to talk about how you got into that in the first place.


MORGAN: And how you got out.

O'NEAL: Sure.

MORGAN: So, it will end on a happier note.

O'NEAL: OK. Good.


MORGAN: This was a scene in 2008 when you hit rock bottom.

O'NEAL: One of the times. Not every time. I've had worse times, too.

MORGAN: Right. This is where you were arrested for buying crack cocaine.

Tell me about the first time you ever took drugs.

O'NEAL: Eleven, you know, in Los Angeles --

MORGAN: How did you get them?

O'NEAL: They were round. It was the '70s, you know? It was around everywhere. It seemed to be everywhere I went, funny enough -- 12, 13.

MORGAN: People's houses or --

O'NEAL: People's houses.

MORGAN: And what was the drug?

O'NEAL: First pot. Then Quaaludes, I think. And then, first, alcohol, actually. And then you know, just led on and on.

MORGAN: Your brother said that your father gave him drugs when he was I think 11. Did he do that to you?

O'NEAL: You'll have to ask him.

MORGAN: Why are you reluctant to say?

O'NEAL: Because we have a show we're doing and it just -- I just don't want to say incriminating things that are going to make it harder to kind of make peace and have healing. I just -- every time I kind of bring up the bad stuff, it just doesn't go toward making a healing and getting us to a better place.

I know for sure my dad made a lot of mistakes. I'm sure that he's living with them today.

MORGAN: To be that age, I've got three sons. Two are around that age.

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: The idea of them taking drugs just sickens me. It horrifies me.

O'NEAL: Yes, it's disgusting. It is. I imagine my kids, too, you know? Even at 25. I mean, it's criminal.

MORGAN: I mean, it is.

O'NEAL: It is. Yeah. And at the same time, he is my dad. And for whatever reason, I decided that I was going to turn -- I was going to have something to do with him. And after 25 years of not talking to him at all, it probably ended up being a good thing. You know, I grew into the woman that I'm sort of still becoming and trying to be.

And luckily, he -- you know, it is never too late to forgive someone. And it is OK to give people a second chance, even if they are child molesters or -- I believe that. And it is my family. And just because we're public, you know, it doesn't mean that there is -- I would always want to try to be forgiven, especially because my dad was willing to have the conversation with cameras.

He was willing to do that. To me, that's a big deal.

MORGAN: I totally agree. Making it public, there's no hiding pace.

O'NEAL: I don't know any father that would say, yeah, let's turn on the cameras and talk about the past. It is not a fun place to look, even in great families. So I thought it was pretty brave of him.

MORGAN: What have been your worst moments involving drugs, when you look back? The one when you felt most ashamed?

O'NEAL: Obviously, like you showed, the arrest. That was terrible. I've had terrible rock bottoms with heroin, where I thought I would definitely die and almost died, sadly -- which I'm super grateful to be alive and to be well and to be sitting here.

MORGAN: How did you get into heroin?

O'NEAL: Through a friend, a person after my divorce. >

MORGAN: Do you still call them friend?


MORGAN: Not much of a friend.

O'NEAL: Yeah, yeah. It's not the person. It's me. I chose to take it. He didn't like wrap me up and stick a gun to my head. It was my choice. The thing is that it is no one's fault, but yourself at the end of the day. And I did it. I wish I hadn't done it, really.

But at the same time, I am who I am for the experiences that I've gone through, good, bad and ugly. Maybe I am more empathic. Maybe I'm a nicer person. Maybe I'm a more loving mother because I have seen the dark side like that, because I have gone to hell and back, and I did almost die, and I did shoot cocaine. And I did lose my kids. And I did get them back.

I put all of our family through a lot of hell. And I feel like how lucky am I that I can sit here and be in a good place and be able to talk to you and be able talk to my dad and have him maybe get to know me now, not a junkie and not dead. And maybe he'll be proud of me and maybe not, you know?

Maybe he won't love the Tatum that I am today. But I hope so. And that's maybe what the show is going to be about.

MORGAN: When you look at yourself now, what do you see? And what do you think?

O'NEAL: I feel good about myself. I kind of like her. She is nice. She is friendly. She's outgoing. She's generous. She loves her kids.

MORGAN: I was surprised. Yesterday, for example.

O'NEAL: I'm quirky, you know.

MORGAN: Here's the thing, I never met you. I just read all this stuff obviously to get an idea, a mythical idea of someone. We came -- we bumped into each other by an elevator here. And I didn't recognize you. And then when you went, it's Tatum. You're interviewing me tomorrow night. This is a very attractive, normal looking woman. How can this be the crazy Tatum O'Neal?

O'NEAL: Thank you for saying that. It's so funny. A friend of mine said that today. It's like, you don't look like that. People have a preconceived idea of what that looks like. I'm out here trying to dispel that idea, that we are al human beings. We are allowed to have a second chance.

And people shouldn't just presume just because you've done a drug that's illegal, that you're a bad person. I've never gone out of my way really to hurt anybody. I have really gone out of my way to hurt myself.

I'm really working on that today, because that does have a residual effect on my kids, on my friendships, on my career, obviously.

MORGAN: Do you think you're winning the battle?

O'NEAL: I know I'm winning the battle.

MORGAN: How long have you been clean now?

O'NEAL: I've been sober for a year now.

MORGAN: Are you proud of yourself?

O'NEAL: Like beyond. The fact of the matter is like, it is a year, but it's many years from the time that I was strung out and copping drugs, you know, in Manhattan, years and years ago, when I used to be a heroin addict. So how could I not be proud?

MORGAN: You should be proud.

O'NEAL: I pray every day. I'm grateful. I'm so grateful that I got a second chance, that perhaps this journey that has been so difficult, and so -- it's been so raw. There hasn't been a lot of filter between me and the public, me and life, that this may help a young girl who is in a situation where she is using drugs and she feels ashamed and she can't stop.

Maybe she'll go to get help or to go a meeting or she'll say, you know, if Tatum O'Neal can actually talk about it and do it and turn her life around, maybe I can.

MORGAN: You're right. Take another break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about Farrah Fawcett.

O'NEAL: Sure.


MORGAN: We'll talk about Farrah Fawcett in a moment. First, what's your view of Weiner-Gate and (INAUDIBLE), really?

O'NEAL: First, it is really sad, because he was a really -- kind of an ambitious -- really ambitious, up and coming congressman, who wanted to be mayor. So the idea that he self-sabotaged this hugely speaks to a definite addiction.

Whether it is he knew it was an addiction or not, I don't know. It is a complete sabotage of everything.

MORGAN: Do you recognize that kind of self-destruct button?

O'NEAL: Yeah. It is almost like he had to do it, in a way, it seems like, even though he's married to one of the most beautiful women in the world. He had to kind of -- this compulsion speaks very highly to addiction.

MORGAN: In terms of addiction, is it the same compulsion that you would have felt for heroin? You know it is bad for you. You know it is wrong, but you can't stop.

O'NEAL: I don't send any pictures of myself naked or otherwise through the Internet or Twitter. I promise, I swear, and never have. So I don't know that. But I can imagine that the fact that he did that so recently after his marriage speaks to an incredible compulsion to kind of -- that no matter what happens, he had to do it kind of thing.

Twitter is a social media. It is not private.

MORGAN: What's the best way for any addict to try and deal with it once this has all been blown up like it has?

O'NEAL: There are so many different ways now. You can reach out and get help. You can go to detox.

MORGAN: What did you find was the best way?

O'NEAL: For me, a 12 step program worked for me.

MORGAN: Did it save your life?

O'NEAL: I know it is saving my life a day at a time, for sure. And lucky me for finding it. And it is funny. I had gone to ten treatments. I'm not saying that treatment isn't a great way to kind of detox and get better and find some help.

But, at the end of the day, there is a way that you can save lives. You can save your own life. And I think it would be better to -- it would be great to get more women in there, because I feel like women are not coming in as much as men to this program, and not getting the help that they --

MORGAN: How do you physically feel these days?

O'NEAL: Amazing.

MORGAN: Do you miss drugs?

O'NEAL: Not even a little bit.

MORGAN: Are you surprised at that?

O'NEAL: I'm grateful. I don't really think about it. It's like, why should I think about something? If it's not broke, don't fix it. I'm just grateful that I'm -- that I don't need to change the way I feel. Like I always felt so uncomfortable and so sad and so not worthy of the world, that I needed to kind of change to survive.

And today I don't feel that. I feel very grateful. I feel very contented and comfortable in a way which I have never felt. That's obvious, too, if you look at me over the last decades, or see other interviews, or look at an Oprah interview from like when my first book came out.

You can see that I'm a jumpier girl, woman. I'm not as -- I can't answer a question as well. I can't really look at you in the eye as well. And I do think that that is --it is what it is. I'm better.

MORGAN: You had -- in the middle of this, in the middle for trying to recover, you were hit by a double whammy, really. One big one, Farrah Fawcett, who played this huge part of your life in many ways. And also Michael Jackson. Of course, you actually dated for a while.

O'NEAL: He was my friend. And we went on a date, although he was like a child at 18. And I was a real child at 13. So if you think about those ages, at the end of his life, the stuff that he went through, that could seem questionable that I was 13 and he was 18.

But first of all, I just think it was really sad that two great people died on the same day, and that Farrah didn't get the kind of due she could have had, perhaps.

MORGAN: To get both these pieces of news must have been such a weird experience for you.

O'NEAL: We knew -- we knew that Farrah was very sick. And then I had been getting updates that she was, you know, getting closer and getting closer. Michael Jackson was a terrible, terrible, terrible shock.

MORGAN: Hold it there. We'll have a short break. Let's come back and talk more about this, because it's fascinating.



MORGAN: My special guest Tatum O'Neal. Fascinating before we went to break about this awful day for you, Michael Jackson a long- time friend, and then Farrah Fawcett dying.

O'NEAL: That ties into addiction, doesn't it? Who knew he was even that addicted that he was taking something that could kill him every day. That was tragic.

And obviously Farrah -- because I sort of lost something that I never had. I never really knew her well enough for her to really take in the role of being my mom.

MORGAN: You were 15 when your dad got together with her. That's an awkward age for any daughter.

O'NEAL: For me it was.

MORGAN: Did you feel not a sense of abandonment --

O'NEAL: I felt the sense of abandonment.

MORGAN: You did?

O'NEAL: Oh, yeah. Sure I did. He left me for her, for sure. I didn't get mad at her though. I was mad at him.

MORGAN: Did you ever get mad at her?

O'NEAL: No. No. Because she was nice. She was a nice woman. And she -- it wasn't her fault. It was my dad. He made the choice. So I kind of -- I think there was a point that -- first of all, I was 15 and she was the most beautiful woman in the world. So I felt awkward most of the time around her.

And I was looking at her pictures and thinking, gosh, how I am a going to compete?

MORGAN: One of the most beautiful women in the world, of course.

O'NEAL: It was a little off-putting. So I was better off kind of figuring out my own --

MORGAN: Did you have any real relationship with her for a long time?

O'NEAL: Just that one that I write about in my book, where I went to talk to her while she knew she was sick in her apartment, and got to kind of talk to her. I didn't.

MORGAN: When you did finally talk to her, when she knew she was dying, what was it like to talk to this woman who had been such a pivotal figure in your life without really being one. Was she sorry to you for what had happened?

O'NEAL: No. There was never an acknowledgement, in a way, in our family of what really happened. There was a lot of sort of a -- a kind of movie star denial, in a way, that our life isn't real and what -- our responsibilities don't really apply to us, kind of thing.

So no. But that was OK. Like I wasn't looking for an apology. I just wanted to kind of say my respects and show her that I was a woman, that I was doing well, that I wasn't addicted to drugs, that I had three beautiful children, that I was doing OK.

And she was very kind of supportive and asking me all about myself and what was I doing. I felt a sense really from her peers that she wanted to kind of be doing the things that I was doing and have the opportunity to be out and to be working and stuff. And in a way, I felt sad. Beyond just sad for her sickness, but sad that she -- because she was always like a girl, you know? She was never really like --

MORGAN: Do you think she was the love of your dad's life? O'NEAL: Well, I think so. I mean, at this point it seems like -- I wouldn't say no, it wasn't. I don't know anymore. He's just had so many women. There were so many before her. I always say that she was the American one, before he went through every great beauty in Europe.

MORGAN: I mean, the most uncomfortable story involving the three of you, I thought, was at Farrah's funeral, when not only does your father not recognize you, but he also hits on you. Is this true?

O'NEAL: Well, if you know my dad, and you'll get to meet him, you'll sort of see that he is just always joking and stuff. And I'm not saying this was a joke. But we had not seen each other at this point in, I don't know, a good decade.

And I don't know how well he sees anymore. And I'm not so sure that he hears very well, either. So speak up in your interview. But he just saw that I had all this sort of blond hair, and that was in my face. And he went hey, you know, how are you doing? Then he sort of went, oh, my God, it's you, Tatum. And I went, yes, dad, it's me. How are you?

MORGAN: The word awkward could have been invented for that moment.

O'NEAL: But we sort of laughed about it. That's how we are. We laughed about it. It wasn't like this, ew, he's a retch. It wasn't like that.

MORGAN: Is he basically just an incurable romantic, do you think, your dad?

O'NEAL: Totally.

MORGAN: He loves women?

O'NEAL: You're so right. That is totally it. Does that excuse terrible parenting? No. But that's it. He is. He's just -- that's his whole life. And he doesn't understand anybody that isn't like that. Because I'm not. I'm much more practical.

MORGAN: We're going to go from an incurable romantic to an incurable man of many tantrums, Mr. McEnroe after the break.

O'NEAL: Oh, sure.



O'NEAL: How would I feel if my father were to, say, get sick or die even? Would I be OK? And I realized that I wouldn't be OK. So I knew I needed to make an effort, because what is your life about? Your family. What's your life about? A father.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: That was, of course, a moment from your series on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, ,Ryan and Tatum, "the O'Neals." You've got a new book "Found, A Daughter's Journey Home" which of course it is.

O'NEAL: Thank you.

MORGAN: And part of this journey was that having had these problems with a man with a temper, your dad, you then decide to marry John McEnroe. Even as I say that, I want to laugh.

O'NEAL: Do you know how old I was when I married him?

MORGAN: Twenty two.

MORGAN: Exactly. So do you think I had like the full idea of what I was doing in my life?

O'NEAL: This was a guy smashing rackets and shouting "you cannot be serious". I mean, get a clue.

O'NEAL: Very interesting man. Very interesting, talented legend. I was taken. I'm super proud of our kids. And I'm a really big fan of John's, actually.

MORGAN: How do you get on these days?

O'NEAL: We get on as well as a divorced couple who have three grown kids can. I mean, we are civil.

MORGAN: Do you talk regularly?

O'NEAL: No. Do you talk to your ex-wife regularly?

MORGAN: Every day.

O'NEAL: Well, we don't.

MORGAN: Really?

O'NEAL: No. But that's OK.

MORGAN: How often do you talk? Honestly.

O'NEAL: Well, he got mad recently. So not very often. I don't remember the last time. My daughter just got her tonsils out, so I texted him that day.

MORGAN: Last time you spoke six months ago? Six years ago?

O'NEAL: Maybe two.

MORGAN: Two years ago?

O'NEAL: Yeah.

MORGAN: Wow. O'NEAL: He's not really a fan of mine. I said I was a fan of his. I don't think he sees addiction as a disease. I think he sees it as a moral deficiency in a person. So therefore, he's like -- you know, think that I really kind of went out of my way to ruin my life and drop my children.

That is not the case at all. I have a lot of regret, obviously, for all the choices that I've made.

MORGAN: Whose decision was it to end the marriage?

O'NEAL: Mine.

MORGAN: How did he take that?

O'NEAL: Not well. At the same time, maybe it was too much for me. As Howard Stern said to me yesterday, maybe it was too much for me that I had had such a sort of volatile upbringing with my dad and to kind of get involved with a man who was maybe equally as volatile, but very different. Let's just make that real clear. Very different.

MORGAN: What's your love life like these days?

O'NEAL: Oh, I don't have any love life. I'm happy like that.


O'NEAL: Zero.

MORGAN: No man at all? Are you looking for a man?

O'NEAL: No, I'm really not.

MORGAN: You can't got the rest of your life without a man.

O'NEAL: I don't think I will. But I think right now, I'm very driven to kind of make up for lost time.

MORGAN: What kind of man do you think now you ought to be with?

O'NEAL: Maybe a gentle, smart, loving person. Not to say that John wasn't those things, but maybe somebody who doesn't react.

MORGAN: Do you think you'll get married again? Would you like to?

O'NEAL: I think so.

MORGAN: Be a nice way to end all of this. Wouldn't it?

O'NEAL: Yes, I think so.

MORGAN: Well, good luck. It's been a pleasure meeting you.