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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Encore: Interview with Ryan O'Neal

Aired June 24, 2011 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight the story even Hollywood couldn't dream up. Father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. Nobody would call their story happily ever after. At least not yet.

Drugs, scandal, trouble with the law. Listen to what Tatum O'Neal told me about her own father.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Your brother said that your father gave him drugs when he was (INAUDIBLE). Did he do that to you?

TATUM O'NEAL, ACTRESS: 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 any incriminating things that are going to make it harder to kind of make peace and have it appealing. I know for sure my dad made a lot of mistakes. I'm sure that he's living with them today.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Tonight it's Ryan O'Neal's turn.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN O'NEAL, "RYAN AND TATUM: THE O'NEALS" ON OWN: This is not true. Eleven years, 9 years old. She's crazy. Why would she say about herself like that? I never saw her do a drug, I never saw her get drunk, I never saw her smoke or do anything. I never saw that. And I saw her every day.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Ryan O'Neal for the hour. This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

Ryan O'Neal's latest project is "Ryan and Tatum, The O'Neals" and it goes on the OWN Network from Sunday. Ryan O'Neal joins me now.

Ryan, I got to thank you because I would say most of the last 46 of my life useless years of life, whenever I needed to succeed with a woman, my tactic has normally been to put "Love Story" in the DVD or the video cassette, whatever it may be at the time, and to sit back and let you work your magic. Because no woman could resist a man after they've watched that.

O'NEAL: You soften them up.

(LAUGHTER

MORGAN: It was to me. To me it was like the ultimate weeping. The greatest of this genre.

O'NEAL: I would try that, only I ended up crying, you see, and that took away --

MORGAN: Do you ever watch it?

O'NEAL: No.

MORGAN: When was the last time?

O'NEAL: Last night. No.

(LAUGHTER)

O'NEAL: No, but I haven't seen it in a long time. It upsets me actually.

MORGAN: Is it? Why?

O'NEAL: Yes. Well, it's -- I lost Farrah to cancer and I just wonder how that all played out that way for me. One was such a big deal and so successful and then in real life it was just the opposite. It was just tragedy.

MORGAN: When you look back at your life, I mean, the show with Tatum, I watched a few episodes, it's fascinating thing to watch. Because I interviewed Tatum earlier today actually. And I said to her, you know, she's nearly my age. One year older than me.

O'NEAL: Is that true?

MORGAN: Yes. Yes.

O'NEAL: I could have had you?

MORGAN: She's aged a lot better. We didn't explore this possibility. We said (INAUDIBLE).

O'NEAL: I know. It's not possible. I would have taken you home.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Well, what was interesting, I think, is that the O'Neals, both her and you, have been in my head like most people for the last 40 years. You're such famous people. Not just the movies you made, the father and daughter relationship, the scandals, the ups, the downs, the tragedy, everything. And she said one very interesting thing to me. It almost has been like for her in the family like being an observer, like being -- you're soap opera characters, you're not real people, and she sort of mused as to whether if that had been the root of the problem. That the fame thing became so big that you couldn't have real relationships.

O'NEAL: Maybe. I don't know. That sounds kind of complicated to me. What happens is that the more success you garner, the busier you are. The more choices you have. The jobs that are offered that take you around the world. And that can create a kind of chaos in the home front. It certainly did in our house.

MORGAN: I mean that's a very honest appraisal. Because the impression I got from Tatum is whilst everybody kind of wants to play out the "Tatum hates her dad" story line that actually in many ways you saved her from a life with her mother who was very dysfunctional, had many issues and problems herself. And that life with you was a better option for her. However, chaotic it was, it was a better option.

O'NEAL: I had taken her mother to court actually and tried to get legal custody of the children because they were struggling on the ranch. They lived on a ranch. Sort of a ranch. And I lost. The judge said give her another chance. And it was just -- so then she came to me -- mom came to me, Joanna Moore. Very fine actress, you know. I think that should be established. She's a wonderful actress. I learned a lot from her.

And she adored her kids. But she did have -- she did struggle. And we made a deal that I could help her with her problems financially if -- but she'd have to sign the children over to me. And I made a deal that we could go -- that we could put them in a school out of state so that I wasn't going to give them more influence than she had and I wouldn't take the child support payments away. They would continue with mom.

I made all those -- I made that agreement. And then off they went to a school in Arizona called Tree Haven which had horses and you know, I thought it might really be wonderful. And for the younger boy, Griffin, it was. He was -- he joined in immediately and got involved. And Tatum struggled terribly.

MORGAN: When you look back, if you were your own biggest critic here, what would you say you were like as a father?

O'NEAL: Great. Hands on. Great -- no, not great. That's funny. Hands on. You know?

MORGAN: Really?

O'NEAL: Absolutely. Hands on. Ask them. I was always strangling them. No.

(LAUGHTER) O'NEAL: I found it really hard because I was -- there was never the mother and the father. It was just the father playing both parts. And I was, you know, only just fair at each.

MORGAN: And is that -- I mean it's tougher than people think, right, I mean --

O'NEAL: You know. You must know. Yes. And especially if they win Academy Awards, you know, at the age of nine.

MORGAN: If you had your chance again with Tatum because obviously she was an incredibly gifted young actress. She did win the Academy Award and propelled her into a new level of fame. Given you were the parent who was in the business, would you shot that door? Would you not push her into it?

I mean she said -- she'd made it quite clear to me. She felt she'd been pushed into it by --

O'NEAL: Pushed into the --

MORGAN: Into show business. Into acting.

O'NEAL: Well, wait a second. I had a friend who was a director. He read a script. And he called me and he asked me about Tatum. And I said, I just got her into a new school in Arizona. And she's struggling there but is going to -- he said, no, I have something that she should read. You should read for her. A story. A movie.

Now this is a very fine director. He wanted to see Tatum. He didn't want to hire her yet. He just wanted to see her. I said well, she's in Arizona. He said, well, bring her here for a day. So we were driving in the car towards home where he's waiting, I said you want to be in a movie with your dad? And convince this guy. She said I'll try. And the rest is history.

MORGAN: I mean it's history that you were controlling, is the point I'd make. And I understand completely having heard now you tell the story about Arizona why you did this. You clearly felt this was a good escape route for her. She clearly now for whatever reason -- and by the way, she was a lot less critical of you than I thought she might be given what I've read in the past.

O'NEAL: She may have known I was in the other room.

MORGAN: No. I don't think it's that. I think she genuinely feels --

O'NEAL: She's warming up to the --

MORGAN: Well, I'll tell you what. Let me play you a clip from the interview I just did with her because I want you to listen to this and see what your reaction is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) T. O'NEAL: 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, you know, lose my kids and I did get them back.

And 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 to, like, talk to my dad and have him maybe get to know me now, not a junky 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.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

O'NEAL: That's your idea of a compliment. He may like me, may not like me, I don't know.

MORGAN: I thought it was quite honest of her, that she wasn't sure.

O'NEAL: She's honest. She's honest. But it's her version of it.

MORGAN: Yes, I didn't think she was being overly critical of you there.

O'NEAL: But she has been.

MORGAN: Yes. But not --

O'NEAL: Years and years of it.

MORGAN: But not there. I mean --

O'NEAL: Bless her heart. Bless her heart.

MORGAN: Isn't that being quite tough with her?

O'NEAL: I'm sorry?

MORGAN: Aren't you being quite tough on her when you say that in reaction to her to saying, I hope he's proud of me but I'm not sure he will be?

O'NEAL: Why wouldn't I be, though? Why wouldn't -- the girl she's describing. What kind of a man wouldn't be proud of someone who has made all these sacrifices and all this growth and wants me to respect her, to love her?

MORGAN: Do you?

O'NEAL: Yes, I do. She's hard. She's a beauty. She's a great beauty. And there are times in which she's magnificent. But she has made my life hard. Hard. And Farrah's. Hard. Because I was never complete again when she left. It didn't matter who or why or what, I could not get her out of my mind. She was always there. I want to add something else. Something early on. And that is we had stopped making movies after "Paper Moon." She had. She was exhausted. And she kept saying this $60,000 she had and she was going to use that money to buy this ranch. I said what $60,000? She said for the movie. I said six, not 60. She said but I won the Academy.

I said, yes, I know. I know. But it's not the first movie if it's a success. It's the next couple. And so we kept driving along. And she said maybe I should do a second movie. One week later we got the script -- I got the script of "Bad News Bears" about a little 13- year-old pitcher. She had a great arm, by the way. We used to play Frisbee on the beach every day. She could throw it 60 yards.

And they offered so much money. I really had to consider it. It kept going up because I kept saying no, trying to keep her in this life. But when they started to get to gross position, I wondered if years from now she might turn on me for not letting her be in that movie.

MORGAN: Let's just hold it there. I'm going to have a short break and then come back and discuss what happened after that. This is fascinating.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back to my special guest, Ryan O'Neal.

Ryan, we left a fascinating way there with that you let Tatum make a second movie. And now she's still incredibly young but she's bona fide an Oscar winning movie star at this ridiculous age and life for all of you really has never been quite the same again. You yourself at the time have been propelled into the stratosphere after "Love Story." I mean I read (INAUDIBLE), you were a second only to Clint Eastwood, I think, for years of that period. I mean an amazing thing she sat her and --

O'NEAL: Make my day.

MORGAN: Yes. Exactly. Yes. You know, and "Love Story" was just iconic. For all of you a crazy period. When you look back on what happened, when did you start to see things just go wrong, do you think?

O'NEAL: Tatum and I were enormously close. Perhaps too close. I can't say it was unhealthy because I didn't feel anything unhealthy about it. I just -- we went everywhere together. And sometimes we were -- you know, we had -- we're in one room for days. It's just the way it was. She was very smart. She had these strange childlike instincts that were always right especially about me and other women. She would go --

MORGAN: She says you're basically an incurable romantic.

O'NEAL: Whatever that is I am. So we had a blood tie but it was hard on me. It was hard on me. It was harder and harder and harder because she was possessive. She was strangling me. She was strangling me. And then all of a sudden out of the midst came this blonde woman that she introduced me to.

Tatum introduced me to her in this way. She saw Lee Majors on a street in Toronto. And she said, my dad is here visiting me. Now he and I had been friends years before, before he knew Farrah. But we weren't friends anymore. We fought over a girl. And she said my dad is here. Why don't you call him? And he did. He called me in my room.

And I went and had a drink with him. And it was fine to see him again. And he said when are you leaving? I said tomorrow. And he said so am I. Come home with me and have dinner with me and Farrah. I have a racketball court, we can play. It's like squash. And so I went. I flew home with him.

And he took me up to the house. My god. And this extraordinary racketball court. But he had an even more extraordinary wife. Breathtaking and so sweet and loving. And -- but she didn't love him. I could see that. First day I could see that. It was over. Something strange had happened and it was dead.

Too bad for him, I thought. And then I went back a couple more times but it wasn't -- it was to play this --

MORGAN: You probably thought, too bad for him but pretty good for me, right?

O'NEAL: Not really. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. But he kept calling me back up to play. Because he only lives a few blocks from me. Up in Mulholland. And I went twice more. And he said let's have a party. I'm going up to do a movie with Robert Meacham. Let's have a party.

And at the party he said, you know, Farrah -- he has arm around her. She's going to be lonely with me gone. Take her out. Take her to places. Take her -- you know people. Take her out.

I had played some music for them called -- by Ry Cooder, a blues guitarist. And he left. He went off to location. And I didn't call her. Well weeks went by. I didn't call her. But that I saw in the newspaper that Ry Cooder was in town, the Santa Monica Civic in Los Angeles.

And I called her. And I asked her to come see Ry Cooder with me. And she did. And that was it. We never were out of each other's sight for about 17 more years.

MORGAN: And she was the love of your life?

O'NEAL: Yes. Without a doubt. Blinded by it.

MORGAN: For Tatum, she's now a 15-year-old girl.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: She's a young, very beautiful blonde girl herself. O'NEAL: In the beginning, though, she was still in Toronto. She had another four weeks to go on the picture. And I had a little headstart. I was going to need it because knew that she'd be coming home and that there would be -- I didn't know what there'd be. I didn't exactly know.

MORGAN: She said to me she felt a sense of abandonment but I definitely got the feeling it was a jealousy there that you had this amazing blonde, beautiful woman who wasn't her suddenly taking over your interest.

O'NEAL: Yes. But what do you do when you're in that spot? I didn't do it right. I know that. I know that was --

MORGAN: What do you regret? What would you do differently?

O'NEAL: Well, I was getting pulled. Farrah didn't pull. Farrah was actually hopeful that Tatum and I would -- at least have some kind of a peace but it wasn't to be. It wasn't to be.

MORGAN: She didn't blame Farrah at all. She blamed you. But I got the sense it was because she's a young teenage beautiful blonde herself, and the light of her life, her dad, I mean, you already said how close you were, suddenly had somebody else.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: And that was to her the fracturing moment because she felt she had lost you.

O'NEAL: Eventually she did because she was not supportive. She was cruel. She wanted it to go down. She didn't see it as a love affair. She did not see it like I saw it. She didn't help me. I needed help.

MORGAN: She was very young, though, wasn't she?

O'NEAL: Now she's young? She was a blonde and 15 a minute ago. Now she's young.

MORGAN: Still a young blonde 15.

O'NEAL: Listen. At 15 Tatum was like crack a whip she was so smart.

MORGAN: Pretty enough to provide you with the kind of moral support that you were hoping for.

O'NEAL: I started to feel like I should keep them apart because Tatum was saying to her like has he beaten you yet? I realized that she was going to try to take it out her own way. Her mother worked a little bit like this, too. My gosh, she's her mother's daughter. She's a Scorpio like her mother. Oh, my god.

And so I wasn't enthusiastic about us all together anymore because she wasn't done until it had failed. And the longer -- the stronger that Farrah and I got, the weaker Tatum and I got. And I saw it. And I didn't know what to do. I didn't do anything.

MORGAN: If you had your time again, I mean, Tatum (INAUDIBLE). If you had your time again, what would you do differently to try and resolve it?

O'NEAL: I would have done something differently because I hate how it went.

MORGAN: It must have broken your heart.

O'NEAL: Absolutely. Absolutely.

MORGAN: I couldn't think of anything worse. You have this inseparable relationship with your daughter and suddenly bang, it's all gone.

O'NEAL: It was all gone. And I used to hang on -- I remember when she got pregnant and she was going to have a baby, I thought well, OK, when she has her baby and she sees what it is to be a mother and how much she loves her baby and then she'll know how much I love her, it will be clear to her.

She'll also see how hard it is to raise a baby and she knows that I raised her single handedly from -- in the infancy. She knows. So she'll take stock.

MORGAN: But she never did?

O'NEAL: Never did. She never did.

MORGAN: Let's take a short break. And when we come back, I want to talk to you about Farrah in more detail and the tragedy really at the end of her life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FARRAH FAWCETT, ACTRESS: Today I've got cancer but on the other hand I'm alive. So I guess I'm great. Yes. Right now I am great. My life goes on and so does my fight.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Emotional moment there from your longtime love Farrah Fawcett who so sadly died and you were there right through the end. You've been together 30 years on and off, up and down, even as you were looking there I can tell it's incredibly painful for you.

O'NEAL: Yes. I can't look at it. I can't look at it. What bothers me the most is that there was turmoil during my love affair with Farrah. A lot of it caused by my family, by my kids. All of them. Particularly Tatum. That I just think that if she had never met us, would she still be alive today? Because nobody knows what causes cancer, do they really? And she didn't smoke. And she didn't drink. She exercised every day. And she believed in her good health. And then we came along. The four of us. And gradually she got weaker. I don't know.

MORGAN: Do you really believe that?

O'NEAL: I think it's highly possible.

MORGAN: The stress of the whole thing was --

O'NEAL: I wasn't able to straighten out the mess that we were in and we sucked her in.

MORGAN: Obviously it's a harsh thing to say.

O'NEAL: Sorry. Maybe it isn't true but it's possible.

MORGAN: But it's harsh. I mean for Tatum to have to hear that would be very harsh.

O'NEAL: Sorry, Tatum. But you probably know, too. For five years I have stayed, you know, close to the hearth and saw that you were healthy and happy, all of you, and even supported their mothers, and now I have met somebody and you're not encouraging me.

You don't see it the way I want you to see it. I want you to love her, too. And I want us to be a family. But you have to feel like I feel towards her. Look at her, you can. You can. She was a good woman. She never, never, never did they ever fight overtly, Tatum or any of my children, with her. They adored her.

My boys -- you know, I had a sauna bath at the beach and when they heard that Tatum -- Farrah would be -- I get them mixed up all the time. I said Tatum, Farrah --

MORGAN: Really?

O'NEAL: I do. But when they knew that Farrah was going to be taking a sauna then, it was on. There was a place to hide inside the sauna to wait and -- and maybe see her naked, you see. But she was always late for her sauna. So by the time she got in there we need to call 911 to get them out because they're completely dehydrated. And I say that because that was the excitement that they had having Tatum around -- having Farrah around. See what happened. Having Farrah around was so thrilling to these boys, but not to Tatum.

Not to Tatum. She saw that. She resented that.

MORGAN: Even as you talk about them, they are so interwoven in your emotional life. I just get a sense that you had this incredible love of both of these women, but it couldn't happen at the same time. This was the real Greek tragedy of the whole thing for you. You couldn't have one and have the other in the same way.

O'NEAL: Why?

MORGAN: Because one felt very neglected and left out.

O'NEAL: Because she had created a demon seed. And it wasn't right that she be around. It wasn't right. She would tear us down, not build us up.

MORGAN: Tatum, to be fair to her, in our interview, didn't say anything critical about Farrah at all. In fact, she said that before she died, she actually did talk to her. And she enjoyed that experience.

O'NEAL: Right. And Farrah told me about it.

MORGAN: How did you feel about that?

O'NEAL: It was OK, except Farrah said she blames you.

MORGAN: Yes.

O'NEAL: I said that's what you talked about? You're lying here and she's busting me up. Blaming me.

MORGAN: The famous line from "Love Story" is "love means never having to say your sorry." Did you ever say sorry to Tatum?

O'NEAL: Many times. I crawled. I crawled. It didn't work. It meant nothing. I didn't even get invited to her wedding. OK?

MORGAN: How did that make you feel?

O'NEAL: It was horrible. What an insult. My daughter is getting married and she was given away by one of the McEnroes, another McEnroe.

MORGAN: When we come back, I'll tell you one of my theories about what may have been the real problem.

O'NEAL: Please. I need a theory.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: I suppose having interviewed Tatum and sat opposite of her like this, and seen someone who appeared to me pretty fragile, pretty damaged, but kind of determined to try to stay clean now and rebuild whatever she can with her life and particularly with you. But there's no doubt the dominant problem in her life has been drugs and an ongoing addiction and an increasingly bad one, starting from a very young age.

O'NEAL: That's not true. That's not true. I don't know why she wants to establish that kind of a -- it's just not true. Eleven years old, nine years old. Is she crazy? Why would she say something about herself like that?

I never saw her do a drug. I never saw her get drunk. I never saw her smoke or do anything. I never saw that. I saw her every day. I know she was strong against her mother and strong against me. She didn't want anybody doing anything. She was always aggressive that way.

Why would she paint a picture of herself that she was an 11-year- old addict? It's so stupid. She made five or six movies beyond there. She couldn't have if that were the case. No one would hire her. I don't understand it.

There's enough that went wrong that you don't need to make things up.

MORGAN: She said that she had -- it was reported that she had a couple suicide attempts when they was 13. Do you believe that?

O'NEAL: I know of one. I thought it was faked, to tell you the truth.

MORGAN: Do you still think that?

O'NEAL: Uh-huh. I do.

MORGAN: You are sort of implying she's a bit of a fantasist.

O'NEAL: Of course. Of course. Sorry, honey.

MORGAN: The moment you were reunited was at Farrah's funeral.

O'NEAL: No. Her son had asked her to come to lunch. We went to Malibu to a restaurant, Tony's Havarina (ph), kind of a nice, lucky place for us. She joined us for lunch. We had a wonderful lunch together.

MORGAN: When was that?

O'NEAL: That was several weeks before the funeral.

MORGAN: She tells the story of -- according to her, she hadn't seen you before the funeral and you hadn't recognized her when you saw that.

O'NEAL: I don't know why she does that. I don't know why she doesn't tell the truth. When she was a little girl, we used to dance. I would say to her, do you have a drink? Do you have a car? She would say my boyfriend is here. I said really? Who he is? She said Joe Frazier. We did this a lot.

When she came into my arms and I put the casket in the hearse, turned around and she jumped into my arms, I said to her, do you have a drink? Do you have a car? Because that was our thing.

I wanted to tell her that I had never forgotten what moved -- what touched us. But they made something else out of it. And instead of saving me, she let me drown, making me look like I'm trying to make out with someone while my girl is being driven away.

Why? Why do you want to make your dad look like -- like that? Why? That's what's hard to understand.

MORGAN: How are you dealing with life without Farrah?

O'NEAL: How do I look?

MORGAN: Not good. I mean, you look good, but emotionally you seem just on the edge.

O'NEAL: It's hard this stuff. We did eight shows. We never really got it worked right. She's determined to undress me, take my epileps (ph), take my medals.

MORGAN: Tatum is?

O'NEAL: Yes. When I am stripped of everything, she'll take me back I think. But I'm not ready to let that happen. My pride is here too. I want my epileps.

MORGAN: How are you coping without Farrah?

O'NEAL: You know, Farrah was a very strong presence in my life. So strong. She permeated my mind and my being. She still does. She had that kind of hold on me. I live in the same house that we lived in together.

The things that are nice in my house are the things that she got me. And so I hear songs that we loved and it stabs me and brings her back. And I'm OK with that. I had somebody. I had somebody that I loved. OK.

And I have a son who struggles with his life because he's tempted to join her, and he's 26. He's tempted to go because he misses her so much. And he feels he shamed himself so much. And it's tricky.

MORGAN: It's an awful situation.

O'NEAL: It's crazy.

MORGAN: What can you say to him?

O'NEAL: I say to him that's not what she wants. She wants you to have a wonderful life. Life. Live it for her. She doesn't want you to join her. And he agrees, but I'm not sure he does. He just says he agrees. I'm sorry.

It's all -- none of it has been resolved. It's still all open sores and may always be, whatever we do on our show. There has been headway.

MORGAN: Do you feel you have gotten anywhere with Tatum?

O'NEAL: In this show?

MORGAN: However bruising the process, do you feel like you are getting somewhere? How ever bad the relationship sounds to the outside world, you know it is better than it was five or ten years ago because then it was --

O'NEAL: We had nothing five or 10 years ago. We had no communication at all.

MORGAN: You have something now.

O'NEAL: Yes, we do have something now.

MORGAN: You are both pretty hurt. I can tell.

O'NEAL: Right. We are. I can take it.

MORGAN: Let's take another break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about movies. Change the subject a little bit.

O'NEAL: I've been in the movies.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

O'NEAL: I do all my best work just before we --

MORGAN: If people could see what's happening in the breaks, it would be even more compelling. It's a fascinating discussion we've been having. I've got to ask you, do you still go to the movies? Do you like movies?

O'NEAL: I don't go very often. But I get them. They send them to me, the Academy does. I know everything that's out there.

MORGAN: Would you like to make another great film? Do you have one in you?

O'NEAL: Sure. I have one in. Does anyone want to use me? I don't know. I don't think so.

MORGAN: Why not?

O'NEAL: I don't know. Because there are better actors out there now. I was only so-so. I just had wonderful vehicles.

MORGAN: Do you feel like you wasted an opportunity? Or did you enjoy it brilliantly, but in the wrong way? After "Love Story" became this huge, global hit?

O'NEAL: Look, I did "What's Up Doc" and that was a huge success. And "Barry Lyndon" was a powerful experience for me. I was in England for nearly two years making it. You know, by the way, Tatum was with me that whole time. She used to help me get my wigs off at night, the buckle shoes.

All that meant we were a team, you see. We were a team. She took the bobby pins out of my hair.

MORGAN: The one thing Tatum said to me when she was being critical of you, she said -- let me play a clip. Watch this and see what you think.

See if you agree with her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

T. O'NEAL: 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. That's what we all love. And so he isn't all bad and he isn't all great, but neither are any of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'NEAL: Well, the thing that Tatum is clever about leaving out is that does a man just have a temper or does something trigger the temper? Does he just wake up mad? Or does something happen in the course of the day that makes him angry?

MORGAN: Do you think you have a temper?

O'NEAL: Yes, sure. I think they helped me develop it too. My children were too wild. They were so wild.

MORGAN: How much of that do you blame yourself for?

O'NEAL: Well, we have the genetic makeup. But did I -- was I arrested 40 times? I have a son that's been arrested so many times -- I don't mean Redmond (ph), but there was another guy. Just look up the log. It's stunning for Griffin. It's stunning what he has done.

MORGAN: Do you have any relationship with him?

O'NEAL: No. No. I've never been more relieved, I'm sorry to say.

MORGAN: He's your flesh and blood?

O'NEAL: Huh?

MORGAN: He is your flesh and blood?

O'NEAL: I don't know, I'm going to get DNA. I don't know, really. I found him -- I don't want to talk about it. My kids were wild. And that includes Tatum. She was, too.

But was she a drug user? No. No. The only time I ever found out about drugs was that she -- I had a home up in Big Sur, California. I was up there with a couple of buddies and she said, can Kerry and I join you? We're not doing anything. What are you doing up there? Can we join you? Did you take the dog with you? Can we come up?

I said, sure. There's room. And they started up Pacific Coast Highway and they crashed. And Tatum was thrown out of the car and scraped up on the highway. And they called me from the hospital. And I sent a limo to pick them up and take them to Big Sur. She was marked up. It was not pretty. A year later, she told me that she had taken a Quaalude and so had the driver. She wasn't even driving. They had no seatbelts on. A Quaalude? You took a Quaalude and then you drove?

MORGAN: Did you go to the hospital after that?

O'NEAL: No. She -- I had a limo right there come and get her. It was in Ventura County. Drive the limo and go straight up to --

MORGAN: You didn't go?

O'NEAL: No, I had the limo pick them up, because that could be much faster. I had a 400 mile drive to go down and get it. So I had a limo bring them up and bring her up. I was -- I took a look at both of them and I said, we have to go home. We got on a plane and we flew right back to L.A. and started getting her skin grafting. She was ripped hard.

MORGAN: There's no doubt from my interview that she certainly infers -- and Griffin has said this -- that you provided or allowed drugs to be around them from a young age, 11 and 12.

O'NEAL: That's true.

MORGAN: It is true?

O'NEAL: Not around them. Not around them. They were --

MORGAN: Listen to what she says.

O'NEAL: Don't let me listen to Griffin because he's -- he sells stories.

MORGAN: This is a tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

T. O'NEAL: You'll have to ask him.

MORGAN: Why are you reluctant to say?

T. O'NEAL: Because we have a show we're doing and I don't want to say incriminating that are going to make it harder to kind of make peace and have a healing. Every time I kind of bring up the bad stuff, it just doesn't go towards 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP) O'NEAL: Now, she's been saying that for 25 years. She can't stop saying it. Why? Why does she do that? It's because she needs a reason for why she collapsed. Why her career and her marriage, her children, they all went south. Why did that happen? Because I had a terrible childhood.

She had a wonderful childhood. She met Queen Elizabeth. She traveled the world. She was a millionairess by the time she was 12.

MORGAN: Does that make you --

O'NEAL: It doesn't hurt, OK.

MORGAN: Doesn't it?

O'NEAL: It doesn't hurt, no.

MORGAN: Can it?

O'NEAL: She had a career. She had a picture. She had everything she wanted. She danced with Michael Jackson. He called every night. She was a happy camper. OK?

MORGAN: You said this before we watched the clip, though, that there were drugs around when they were young.

O'NEAL: Well, there were. It was Malibu. It was a beach. People smoked and went swimming and went surfing. And there was marijuana. There was.

MORGAN: Could they have been taking them without you know something?

O'NEAL: They could have been taking it, yes. Oh, sure. And Griffin was. Not Tatum, she would knock the out of your mouth. That's what bothers me about this. She's not being honest.

MORGAN: But you did give them to Griffin?

O'NEAL: No, no, but he had access.

MORGAN: Right. We'll take a final break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about your future, what you think is going to happen to Ryan O'Neal going forward.

O'NEAL: That's something (inaudible).

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back with Ryan O'Neal. It's been an extraordinary hour with you.

O'NEAL: Thank you.

MORGAN: I'd like to try to end it on an upbeat note for you. How do you see the future now? O'NEAL: Oh, the future?

MORGAN: Yeah.

O'NEAL: I don't know. The future is --

MORGAN: Do you feel positive about it?

O'NEAL: Yeah. I think this show will be effective and I'll tell you why. I think there's people out there watching that may have -- that will this will ring a bell, and perhaps even open eyes and turn their relationships around, perhaps.

That would be a huge benefit and I would take great pride in that. I would go on with it. And I'd keep going with Tatum until we've locked it down. Because I think that's what you have to do with people you love.

MORGAN: You think you can?

O'NEAL: Uh-huh, I do. I have to. I'm out of options. This is it.

MORGAN: What is the thing you have learned most about yourself from making this show?

O'NEAL: From making this show? I'm a work in progress, which is a little sad at the age of 70. But I have a ways to go.

MORGAN: I've got to say, you look great for 70. There are lots of positive.

O'NEAL: It's the makeup. Don't be fooled. And I want to live a good life and be representative of people who can struggle and come out the other side with hope. Nothing more than that.

MORGAN: How would you like to be remembered?

O'NEAL: It was a childhood -- children and a man to men.

MORGAN: Ryan O'Neal, thank you very much.

O'NEAL: Thank you.

MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. Now here's "AC 360."