I am no fan of reality television. I especially don’t like celebrity reality television. I had the OWN channel free for a period of time but when it became a subscription channel I sure didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not buying it.
I saw the first episode or two of the Ryan and Tatum O’Neal reality television show. I read the book that Tatum wrote about her childhood and believe that although it may have been slanted a little by her perspective that it was basically true. That sad thing is that as most children feel, Tatum wanted to have a good relationship with her dad. She relapsed after being sober for some time and wanted to be able to reconnect with her father.
Tatum was celebrating her 50th birthday, I believe and wanted to have her daddy at her party. She had recovering friends at her party but her adult son would not come because her father had been disrespectful and abusive to him earlier. I personally think that she should have told her father to stay the hell away, but then it wouldn’t bode well for the reality television show for him not to be there.
Ryan spent a lot of his time hitting on some young girl that was sitting next to him at the birthday dinner table. At Farrah’s funeral when Tatum showed up he didn’t even realize it was his daughter. He was hitting on her and wanted her to take off with him. She sarcastically remarked that that was just the way he was.
I think that it is tragic that the ones that daughter’s want to love them the most, their fathers, are often the ones that they can get the least love from. Abusive fathers make very pathetic role models and usually don’t change.
In an article in TV Guide Magazine Ryan O’Neal said that the reality television show did more to harm his relationship with Tatum than it did to help it. I believe that is true, but I don’t think that their relationship could be helped. Ryan O’Neal is all about Ryan O’Neal and the fantasy “perfect love” that he had with Farrah Fawcett.
After battling drug addictions for years, Tatum wrote the alleged abuse from her father caused her to turn to drug use. At the time, Ryan released this statement: “It is a sad day when malicious lies are told in order to become a ‘best-seller’.”
The sad reality is that the Ryan O’Neal also at the very least verbally sexually abused Tatum O’Neal. The other sad fact is that Oprah couldn’t help heal their relationship, Oprah is not a professional counselor anyway. The other fact is Ryan is not at all able to face his own addictions and self-pity. Tatum shouldn’t have to parent her father. He should parent her, not the other way around.
I also don’t think that a reality television show is going to be able to fix relationships. There are no easy, quick fixes.
The worst thing though was that Ryan had the gall to say that he believed that it was possible that Tatum caused Farrah Fawcett to get cancer because of all of the stress that Tatum brought into his relationship with Farrah. That really is about the most disgusting thing that he could blame on his daughter.
Here is a quote from Ryan on ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ on June 2011.
“There was turmoil during my love affair with Farrah, a lot of it caused by my family, by my kids, all of them, but particularly Tatum,” he said. “And I just think if she had never met us, would she still be alive today? Because nobody knows what causes cancer, do they?“
Maybe Ryan should have been more concerned about parenting his children than he was about his love life. Maybe his children would have been healthier adults if his concern were more about them. Sorry Ryan I have no respect for you and your self-pity. I hope that Tatum can move on and realize that she cannot get love from her father Ryan anymore than she can get blood from a turnip.
God bless you Tatum in your recovery and your life. I hope that the trauma of trying to have a relationship with your father doesn’t jeopardize your staying sober. He is extremely toxic and probably always will be. He is just another tragic example of how fame and celebrity can help destroy a person.