Ryan Oneal sat down with the Today show's Matt Lauer on Tuesday (April 1, 2012), in what is already being described as one of the saddest celebrity interviews for some time. The actor - who has been diagnosed with cancer - spoke candidly about his tumultuous relationship with Farrah Fawcett before her eventual death in 2009.
Lauer got straight to the heart of matters, asking "Were you a bad parent?", to which O'Neal replied, "Looks like it, doesn't it? Sure looks like it. I suppose I was". However, he noted that his adult children weren't kids anymore, saying, "Griffin is 45, Tatum is 49, who's the other one? Redmond is 27. They have to take hold of their own existences". His children have all struggled with their fair share of addictions and both Griffin and Redmond have been incarcerated at some point. His other child Patrick has managed to stay out of trouble and works as a sportscaster. In his new book 'Both of Us: My Life with Farrah', Ryan recalls how a six-year-old Redmond walked in on his parents having an argument and threatened to stab himself with a knife unless they stopped fighting. O'Neal explained, "He couldn't stand it.It stopped us, I must say. We put a stop to that. And we moved the knives up higher, harder to reach".
After successfully battling leukemia, the actor was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer last month. He had cancelled his initial spot on the Today show on Monday having suffered a panic attack.