Given the troubled past of his son Griffin – who was recently sentenced to prison due to a DUI accident – and his years of being estranged from his daughter Tatum, actor Ryan O’Neal admits he feels like a parenting failure.
On Tuesday’s episode of the Today show, the 71-year-old Love Story actor tells host Matt Lauer, “Looks like [I was a bad father], doesn’t it? I suppose I was.”
“I wasn’t trained. These are not children, anymore,” Ryan continues. “Griffin is 45, Tatum is 49. Who’s the other one? Oh yeah. Redmond is 27. At some point they have to take hold of their own existences.”
In his new book titled Both of Us: My Life With Farrah, Ryan candidly reveals some of family’s darkest moments, including a incident when a then 6-year-old Redmond threatened to stab himself with a knife in an effort to stop his parents from fighting.
“He didn’t want to see that. He couldn’t stand it,” Ryan recalls. “It stopped us, I must say. It put a stop to that and we moved the knives up higher. Harder to reach.”
Although Ryan admits that he and his late wife Farrah Fawcett – who succumbed to cancer in 2009 – had a “sometimes violent” relationship, there was a bond” that got them through the tougher times.
“I don’t think we were bad for each other because we had a rhythm that worked generally smoothly,” he says. “But I’m hard to live with. She got tired of that, I’m sure.”
“[Farrah] loved me,” Ryan adds. “She said so. I couldn’t write a book if she hadn’t.”
Ryan is also father to son Patrick, 43, with ex-wife Leigh Taylor-Young.