Heroin, Jail and Addictions 'He Can't Control': The Troubled Life of Farrah Fawcett's Son
Redmond O’Neal's arrest on Tuesday after allegedly robbing a Los Angeles convenience store and threatening the clerk with a knife is not his first run-in with the law
Redmond O’Neal‘s arrest on Tuesday after allegedly robbing a Los Angeles convenience store and threatening the clerk with a knife is not his first run-in with the law.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that the son of actors Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal walked into the store armed with a knife and demanded the clerk to take out money from the register. Authorities said Redmond fled the store after the clerk handed over an undisclosed amount of cash just before 2:30 am. He was arrested nearby and detectives alleged they recovered a knife that matched the clerk’s description.
Redmond was arrested on a robbery charge and is being held on $50,000 bail. He is due in court on Thursday when a judge will determine if he will be granted bail or released.
The 33-year-old has struggled with substance abuse issues since he was a teenager, leading to numerous drug and weapons-related charges as well as much time spent in rehab.
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Redmond entered rehab in 2004 for heroin use. Just months after pleading guilty to drug possession and one misdemeanor DUI charge in June 2008, he and his father were arrested at the actor’s home in Malibu for alleged drug possession while authorities were checking to make sure Redmond was adhering to the terms of his probation.
He was arrested again in April 2009 for possession of narcotics and for bringing narcotics into a jail facility. Although Redmond entered a residential treatment facility, he was kicked out after testing positive for meth and because traces of heroin were found in his room.
DA spokeswoman Jane Robison told PEOPLE at the time, “Because of that, the judge terminated his Prop. 36 program” which allows drug offenders a chance to receive treatment instead of time behind bars. Five months later, Redmond pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a residential drug treatment program.
When Fawcett passed away in June 2009, Ryan told Vanity Fair that their son was permitted to attend the funeral. “They kept him in chains; he was a pallbearer with handcuffs,” the actor said.
“He has addictions he can’t control; he goes to sleep in his food,” Ryan told Vanity Fair of his son in 2009. “This is not a privileged guy. He never had any money; he never had a car; he never had a driver’s license. He’s never been out on the street for a year, because whatever he did, he got caught. He got arrested in prison with heroin in his pocket! So many arrests, the poor, stupid boy! He’s not a thug; he doesn’t know how to be. He’s just a sap, and he knows it. He’s been in rehabs all over the United States and Mexico. We’re just thankful he doesn’t have H.I.V.”
Redmond graduated from the intensive drug-court program in August 2010 and planned to turn his life around.
“My plan is to move forward with my life, clean and sober,” O’Neal, then 25, said in a statement released to PEOPLE through his lawyer Richard Pintal. “I am going to do so privately and with as much quiet dignity as I can.”
A year later, however, he found himself in a familiar predicament. Redmond was arrested for investigation of drug possession by Santa Monica police during a traffic stop.
“After Mr. O’Neal admitted to being on felony probation and consented to a search, the officers found heroin and marijuana in the vehicle,” Sgt. Richard Lewis told PEOPLE at the time.
In September 2011, his probation was revoked after he admitted to using narcotics in court-ordered rehab.
Redmond also had his probation revoked in May 2015, seven months after it was reinstated as a judge determined he had used drugs and did not maintain doctor appointments. He was sentenced to three years in state prison for violating the probation, but was credited for nearly a year served by his trial judge. Redmond was spotted spending time with his father out of prison in Sept. 2016.
Tatum, whose mother is Joanna Moore, said, “I love him, but I have never seen a more scary side of addiction. He’s got addiction problems so bad that it breaks my heart. Nobody knows what to do with Redmond. From what I’ve seen, there is no way he’s going to survive.”