“Beautiful People, Ugly Choices” is the headline of Lisa Bennetts’ cover story about Farrah Fawcett and her 30-year lover Ryan O’Neal in the September issue of Vanity Fair, but “ugly” barely begins to cover the icky O’Neal anecdotes being teased in the online preview for the piece, which include accidentally coming on to his own daughter at Fawcett’s funeral. Built around quotes from the once-respectable actor, as well as other Fawcett insiders, Bennetts paints a portrait of dysfunction and scandal centered around the tumultuous, three-decade romance between O’Neal and Fawcett.
In detailing their breakup, O’Neal invokes Fawcett’s menopause (“Farrah was going through some kind of life change”) and explains his romance with a much younger woman as a replacement for his daughter, Tatum O’Neal, who had “flown the coop.” Apparently, his memories of Tatum were fuzzy at best judging by the disturbing anecdote O’Neal passed on about not recognizing his own kin:
“I had just put the casket in the hearse and I was watching it drive away when a beautiful blonde woman comes up and embraces me,” Ryan told me. “I said to her, ‘You have a drink on you? You have a car?’ She said, ‘Daddy, it’s me — Tatum!’ I was just trying to be funny with a strange Swedish woman, and it’s my daughter. It’s so sick.
“That’s our relationship in a nutshell,” Tatum said when I asked her about it. “You make of it what you will.” She sighed. “It had been a few years since we’d seen each other, and he was always a ladies’ man, a bon vivant.”
(via Vanity Fair)