Ryan and Redmond O’Neal on Losing Farrah Fawcett and Winning Warhol Portrait Battle
“Extra” was invited inside Ryan O’Neal’s Malibu beachfront estate for a candid interview with him and his son Redmond. The two opened up to Renee Bargh about life since losing Farrah Fawcett over four years ago.
Redmond spoke for the first time about finding out his mother Farrah had passed away while he was in prison. “One minute she was alive and well, everything was good, and the bam! My dad was telling me she died… I was in jail at the time. I didn’t even get to say bye to her. For the last four months she was living, I didn’t even get to talk to her. She was bedridden, incapable of getting on the phone… The good thing is she didn’t know I was in jail. My dad kept that from her.”
Redmond said the prison pastor told him the news. Ryan explained, “I called her (the pastor), and she found him because she didn’t want him to hear it from another inmate, or from the radio.”
The 29-year-old said he did see the news about his mom’s death on the front page of a newspaper. “It was in the paper, like front page, that was hard, too. I got all these inmates in the dorm, I was in reading this newspaper. She’s on the front page, she and Michael Jackson… I remember, and I got mad ‘cause Michael Jackson had a bigger page.”
Redmond has come a long way since then. “I’m doing great, two and a half years clean… got my little dog here, got my dad, got good friends, you know, I can’t complain.” Redmond is a drummer and wants to open a BBQ restaurant.
Ryan added, “I’m very proud of him. I know his mother was there for him and helped him jump some hurdles, and now I’ve got him and he’s exactly what I wanted. There’s a lot of his mother in him, so it’s almost as if she’s around.”
They both also recently spent weeks in a California courtroom, battling to keep an Andy Warhol painting of Farrah. Ryan said, “They had a witness who lied on the stand, broke the law, that bothered me a lot. I think the jury caught it, that’s how come I have it.”
The younger O’Neal added, “I know my mom would not have wanted this to happen. She would not have wanted to get humiliated… that’s what really got to me. Forget the painting, it was the fact they were trying to, you know, bad mouth my mom.”
The painting, which hangs in Ryan’s bedroom, will now stay in the family for good. Redmond said, “And when I have kids one day, I’ll pass it on to them and it’ll just keep passing.”