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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Surprise Twist in Michael Jackson Custody Case; Griffin O'Neal Says Ryan O'Neal Used Farrah Fawcett in Death
Aired August 3, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, surprise twist inside the Michael Jackson court hearing -- what does the king of pop's dermatologist want now that grandmother Katherine's got the kid?
It's a shocker raising questions about the identity of the children's real father. Her attorneys are here with the exclusive details.
Plus, Griffin O'Neal's bombshell -- Ryan's son rips into his dad. Those tears at Farrah's funeral -- he says they were fake. And there's more about the drama, the drugs and the dangerous liaison between Ryan and Farrah.
Was it all about money?
Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Before we meet the attorneys who successfully represented Katherine Jackson in court today, let's go up on the roof, to Ted Rowlands, our CNN correspondent, who was there, of course.
What were the key rulings today -- Ted?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a real busy day, Larry. It started with that bombshell you alluded to in the open. Dr. Arnie Klein's lawyer showed up during the custody section of the hearing and said that the doctor wanted to play a role in the children's lives. The judge talked to him a little bit outside and then ultimately ruled no, he wouldn't have a standing in this proceedings.
And Katherine Jackson was, as everybody expected, awarded custody of the three children.
They also came to terms with a stipend for Katherine Jackson and one for the children, separately from the estate, allowing money to flow to the family while everything gets worked out.
They also, both sides got together and figured out how to get around an issue that has been plaguing the proceedings here and a confidentiality agreement reached with Katherine Jackson. Basically, she's going to sign this thing. That will give the estate the go- ahead to enter into some lucrative contracts with Sony and AEG and bring in, basically, more millions into the estate.
One thing that did happen, too, which was significant, the will was accepted by the judge into probate -- a huge step. No real reaction from either side in terms of opposing that. That went through. But the executors were not appointed on a full-time basis. The judge is going to wait on that. And we're also waiting to see exactly what Katherine Jackson's role is going to be in terms of the estate moving forward.
So a lot done, but also a lot still scheduled. A couple of new hearings scheduled starting next week. So a lot still to be done.
KING: One other thing, Ted, was Debbie Rowe, the mother of the kids, there?
ROWLANDS: No. Her attorney was there, though, but she did not make an appearance.
KING: Thanks. That's Ted Rowlands, our CNN correspondent, who has been atop this story since it's -- since it all happened.
We now welcome Londell -- Londell McMillan, an attorney for Katherine Jackson, and Diane Goodman, who's attorney for Katherine. She also handles custody issues, as well.
Londell, would you say today was a successful day for your client?
LONDELL MCMILLAN, KATHERINE JACKSON'S ATTORNEY: I think by all accounts and all measures, today was a very, very significant day and we achieved a great deal. And we're happy that Mrs. Jackson now has the permanent custody of her wonderful three children.
And I want to thank my co-counsel, Diane Goodman, and Debbie Rowe's counsel, Eric. He was just terrific and she was great. And we handled this without a lot of fanfare, without a lot of back and forth. And it was done with the prudence and care that we always said that we would do.
So, you know, at the end of the day, a lot of people have things to say about how lawyers do business. This was a classic case of doing it for the right reason, the right thing.
KING: Diane, anything you wanted you didn't get?
DIANE GOODMAN, KATHERINE JACKSON'S ATTORNEY: No, we got everything we wanted. We wanted to make Mrs. Jackson the permanent guardian of the children today. That's what we were looking for to have happen.
KING: Were the children there?
GOODMAN: No. The children were excused by the judge from the appearance.
KING: Have you talked to them since?
GOODMAN: To the family?
KING: To the kids? GOODMAN: No, I have not yet had a chance to talk to the kids.
KING: You gather they're very happy about this?
GOODMAN: They very much wanted their grandmother to be their permanent guardian.
KING: And what did you arrange with Debbie Rowe's lawyer?
MCMILLAN: We arranged that she would have, under the appropriate type of supervision and care for the children, an opportunity to have visitation in a supervised manner, in the best interests of the children. And, quite frankly, as I've always said, this was never about money. It wasn't a money deal. And she deserves credit for that. Her lawyer deserves credit for that. And it's always been about the best interests of the children, Larry.
KING: Now, we understand the children signed consents to the agreement?
GOODMAN: That's correct, the two oldest children.
KING: How does that work?
GOODMAN: Well, under guardianship law, children over 12 have the right to consent or object to a guardian. And although Paris isn't yet 12, she and her brother both signed consents that -- indicating they wanted their grandmother to be their permanent guardian.
KING: Was there any financial payment to Debbie Rowe?
KING: But she gets supervised visitation. That's arranged between her...
GOODMAN: She will get...
KING: ...and Katherine?
GOODMAN: We will be hiring -- jointly hiring, with Deborah Rowe and Mrs. Jackson, we'll be hiring a psychologist who is going to assist the parties in determining what would be appropriate based on the children's needs and their developmental stages at this time.
KING: Has Debbie had any interaction with the children since the death?
KING: To your knowledge.
GOODMAN: She has not had any since Michael died.
KING: Do you know how soon visitation will begin? GOODMAN: We'll be working on hiring a psychologist and figuring that out soon. But, you know, we should have a plan in place within a couple of months.
KING: Did the children know a lot about Debbie, to your knowledge?
Do they -- what do they know about their mother?
MCMILLAN: I don't know how much they know about.
GOODMAN: I don't know, either. And that's one of the things that we're going to have to sensitively explore with the children.
KING: I mean will they be meeting a stranger?
GOODMAN: Essentially, yes.
GOODMAN: They haven't seen her since they were very little.
KING: We have -- by the way, have some remarkable home video of a birthday celebration for Paris a number of years ago.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARIS JACKSON: You're the best daddy in the whole world.
MICHAEL JACKSON: I love you more, Paris.
PRINCE JACKSON: Daddy, I have some...
M. JACKSON: (INAUDIBLE) why don't you sit next to Paris?
PRINCE JACKSON: OK.
PARIS JACKSON: Daddy?
M. JACKSON: Yes?
PARIS JACKSON: I have -- thank you for giving me ice cream. You're the best dad in the whole world and I love you.
M. JACKSON: Oh, that's sweet. Tell me what your wishes are for your birthday.
What would you like to see happen?
PARIS JACKSON: (INAUDIBLE).
M. JACKSON: In your life?
Well what -- what do you want? PARIS JACKSON: I'd do what you do.
J. JACKSON: What do I do?
PARIS JACKSON: You dance and sing.
J. JACKSON: That's what you want to do?
PRINCE JACKSON: Me, too.
J. JACKSON: Prince, I'm talking to Paris.
PARIS JACKSON: Well, it's not your birthday, Prince. It's not your birthday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: An adorable kid.
Does the father, Joe Jackson, have any say in any of this?
MCMILLAN: No, he...
KING: Did he come up in court today?
MCMILLAN: No, he doesn't. He didn't show up in court today but he...
KING: Didn't the judge inquire about the father?
MCMILLAN: No -- no, he didn't. But he is still Mrs. Jackson's husband. But the -- he didn't -- he didn't inquire and he will not have a role raising the children. He doesn't live in Havenhurst.
But you know what, you raised Joe Jackson and I do want to say something. It is understandable some of the sentiments toward him. But I think, in many respects, he gets a bad -- he gets a bad shake. He's a loving guy. He's been there from day one. He's a tough guy. You know, he has his ups and downs with the media.
But at the same time, Michael forgave Joe Jackson. No one really pays attention to that. Look at the "Thriller" 25 credits. Michael forgave Joe Jackson. And, you know, he's moving on. And he's not going to be a major factor with the children. And -- and we're moving forward.
GOODMAN: You know...
KING: In this kind of case, though -- and forgetting the Jackson and the attention -- wouldn't a judge inquire about the father?
GOODMAN: The grandfather?
KING: The grandfather. Yes. GOODMAN: Yes. And he did. And Mr. Jackson signed a consent consenting to his wife being guardian of...
KING: Oh, he did sign that?
GOODMAN: He did sign a consent that was...
KING: And that was presented in the court?
GOODMAN: ...presented there today. He also signed a declaration explaining that he lives most of the time in Las Vegas...
GOODMAN: ...and will visit with his grandchildren occasionally.
MCMILLAN: I want to say, though, and I want to share that he voluntarily did that. He wasn't -- he wasn't forced to do it. He wanted to do it. He wanted to -- he wanted to be a non-issue and he only wanted the best interests of the children. He wanted to support his wife, Mrs. Katherine Jackson. And that's what we did.
KING: It's good to hear.
KING: We'll be right back.
Do you, by the way, agree with the court's ruling on custody?
Go to CNN.com/larryking, click on the blog and tell us what you think and we'll be right back.
KING: We're back with the attorneys, Londell McMillan and Diane Goodman.
The (INAUDIBLE) -- they're not partners, by the way. Londell represents Katherine fully, right?
You're her lawyer?
KING: And Diane represents her in matters of custody, right?
KING: Do the children know all about what's going on?
GOODMAN: I hope not.
KING: Don't they have to almost?
GOODMAN: I think they have some sense of it. They had to be interviewed by the probate investigator, so I think they have some sense. But we've tried to shield them from as much as possible. And my goal is that the media leave them alone and let them get a chance to grieve their father's death and just grow up.
KING: Do you think that's an expectant goal?
GOODMAN: I'm hopeful.
KING: Yes. That would -- that would be nice.
Has this case, barring all the publicity -- the over the top publicity -- has it gone well?
MCMILLAN: The case?
MCMILLAN: The case -- the petition filing for the custody, I think, has gone extraordinarily well. We couldn't have expected it to go better.
In terms of the estate, it could go much better and we hope it will get better.
KING: A lot of -- what's the problem?
MCMILLAN: Well, the problem is, the issue of who is and who should be the executors and the trustees and what happened between the time of 2002 and 2009. And at the time of death, there's no question that Mrs. Katherine Jackson was Michael Jackson's most trusted person, from a personal and business standpoint.
KING: But it is rare, is it not, to have a 79-year-old trustee, since your trustee is going to pass away well before the children have -- need money?
MCMILLAN: Not at all. Not at all. Because...
MCMILLAN: No, because a trustee is not an expert in matters of administration or entertainment or media or whatever this estate has. A trustee is a person who's trusted -- a person who has honor with respect to the decedent. And I'm not going to take away from the other gentlemen, but I know for a fact there is no one in the world that was trusted by Michael Jackson more than Mrs. Katherine Jackson.
KING: What happens if, God forbid, she passes?
MCMILLAN: Well, there are provisions under the probate code as well as under the trust documents that haven't been disclosed publicly yet. But there's -- there's provisions that allow for how do you replace a vacated seat. For example, there were originally three seats. There were three persons designated. One chose to leave. Under this particular trust, the remaining trustees and executors can appoint a third person. So there are provisions for that. KING: Are the trustees paid?
MCMILLAN: The trustees are paid.
What did you make of the Arnold Klein lawyer coming?
GOODMAN: I was totally confused by it. He definitely...
KING: What did he want?
GOODMAN: Well, he couldn't even tell us. He said his client was concerned about the children's education and welfare. The judge made it very clear that he didn't have standing. And I'm not sure what he was really looking for.
KING: Are you?
MCMILLAN: From a -- from a legal standpoint, no standing...
KING: OK. Dr. Klein was a guest on this show early last month. And we asked about speculation surrounding paternity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What about all the rumors about you and the fathering of those children?
DR. ARNIE KLEIN, MICHAEL JACKSON'S DERMATOLOGIST: Here's the most important thing. Michael loved those children as a father. Those children loved him as a father. As far as I'm concerned, that's the most important grouping there is.
KING: That's not answering the question.
KLEIN: No, because I'm not going to answer it the way you want me to answer it, because I think (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: Well, you could say no.
KLEIN: I can say no then. I'll say no if that's what you want to hear.
KING: No. I want to hear what you want, what you know.
KLEIN: What I will tell you is that -- see, because I hear what's most important about this whole thing, to end this thing, is that the most important thing in who the father is, is who the father is -- who the children want their father to be. And I will tell you this, I will say no, because the most important person to these children is how Michael loved them, how he loved his children and how they loved him, because they would never go past him without saying: "I love you, daddy." He would say, "I love you."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: So is Arnold saying there he would like to be the father?
Reading between the lines, what is he saying?
MCMILLAN: Well, it's hard to read between the lines, but I can tell you what he expressly said, that -- that Michael Jackson was a great father and that they loved each other and...
KING: That's what he said.
MCMILLAN: ...and, you know...
KING: But the question was is he the father?
He didn't say no. He didn't say yes.
GOODMAN: He's not the legal father. He doesn't have any standing. I have no idea whether he's the biological father but that's not...
KING: Could he prove that in a DNA test?
GOODMAN: Could it be proved?
Yes. But this court is not going to order it and there is no standing for him to ask for it. There is conclusive presumption that Michael Jackson is the children's father.
KING: We want to remind you, by the way, Jermaine Jackson will be here for the hour this Friday night on LARRY KING LIVE.
We'll be back in 60 seconds.
KING: We're back.
Let's get a couple of calls in.
Dayton, Ohio, hello.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: is this Larry King?
KING: Yes, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. This is Jack McGuire (ph) from Dayton, Ohio. Thank you for taking my call.
KING: Hello, Jack.
What's the question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I -- I have a question for Diane that actually challenges the notion that Debbie Rowe is not receiving any payment for not seeking custody of her children. And basically it goes like this. Debbie Rowe is receiving substantial spousal support payments from Michael Jackson and now from his estate. Under California law, those payments should stop upon the death of the payee, which is Michael Jackson.
But apparently there's been an agreement where those payments will continue indefinitely.
KING: All right, hold on right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So why is that?
KING: Is that true?
GOODMAN: That would be true absent an agreement. In the agreements between Michael and Debbie, these payments continue. Some divorce judgments provide that payments terminate on the death of the payor or the payee.
KING: Do they continue now?
GOODMAN: This case (INAUDIBLE).
KING: So she is being paid?
GOODMAN: But there's no new payments to her. These are moneys she was receiving before.
KING: So this is not additional money since the death...
GOODMAN: There is nothing...
KING: ...nothing is -- it's not child support money...
KING: ...it's money as part of the original divorce agreement?
MCMILLAN: That's right.
GOODMAN: Correct. And there is nothing additional being paid since his death.
KING: But she will get this money, for how long?
GOODMAN: That I'm not sure.
KING: Do you know? MCMILLAN: We're not prepared to say that.
KING: How long it lasts?
What -- it was in the original...
GOODMAN: For however long...
KING: ...it was in the original...
KING: Isn't the original divorce agreement public?
KING: No. I thought...
MCMILLAN: Not the...
GOODMAN: Well, yes, the original...
MCMILLAN: Not -- the divorce agreement, but not the actual settlement.
KING: Nashville, hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: hi. Good evening.
My question is, even though Joe Jackson cannot play a role in the kids' life, would he have any type of visitation rights to see the kids?
KING: Are you talking about Dr. Klein?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry?
KING: Oh. Oh, Joe Jackson -- can he visit the kids?
I'm sorry. I didn't hear (INAUDIBLE).
GOODMAN: Joe Jackson?
GOODMAN: Yes. Joe Jackson has a right to visit the children and plans to visit his children.
MCMILLAN: The grandchildren.
GOODMAN: And his children.
KING: So he's going to be involved in their lives?
GOODMAN: Absolutely. He was involved in their lives prior to Michael's passing away, also.
KING: Celebrities and drugs is an age old problem. Lorna Luft has written a blog exclusive for us about this very issue and how doctors enabled her mother, Judy Garland. Go to read it. Go to the blog via CNN.com/larryking.
We'll be back.
KING: We have Londell McMillan and Diane Goodman.
So we'll clear that up. Judge -- Dr. Klein has no standing with the kids today.
MCMILLAN: Absolutely not.
KING: If he wanted to see them, Katherine could say yes or no, right?
MCMILLAN: That's correct.
KING: That's OK.
The judge today also extended the appointments of John Branca and john McClain, the executors named in Michael Jackson's will, for the next 60 days.
How does Katherine feel about that?
GOODMAN: I think that's OK. Right now, somebody's got to be in charge. And that was what the judge said, we need someone in charge making decisions. And it gives us time to have further conversations and to discuss how we're going to handle that.
KING: Since it was in the will, what's the question?
MCMILLAN: Well, the...
KING: It was Michael's wish.
MCMILLAN: Well, the first thing is the extension is not actually a permanent appointment. I think their intention was to obtain a permanent appointment. Michael's wishes in 2002 don't reflect what his wishes are in 2009.
KING: How do you know?
MCMILLAN: The law is full of rules, presumptions and burdens. Because there was a will and there has not been a subsequent one presented to the court, the presumption is that the will was valid and the will was his wishes as it -- as it was intended.
Our burden would be, unless Mrs. Jackson is made a major part to protect and preserve the legacy of Michael Jackson, would to introduce information into evidence that would actually shift the burden with respect to these executors.
KING: And have you done that?
MCMILLAN: Well, we're in the process of doing that and that's forthcoming.
KING: That's what the extension was for 60 days. So you have to present evidence.
Why do you want to take that away from him?
MCMILLAN: Well, during the period of time we've been negotiating and talking, we -- we've asked for information and documentation. And we weren't able to get the information. So the court also moved forward to allow Mrs. Jackson to move forward the process to get information.
KING: Howard Weitzman, the attorney for John McClain and John Branca, the executors of the will, had this to say: "The special administrators are in the process of creating significant value for Michael Jackson's beneficiaries -- his three children, his mother, Mrs. Katherine Jackson, and the charitable causes that were so important to him during his lifetime."
KING: That's their job, isn't it?
MCMILLAN: Well, that's the job of the administrators, executors and the trustees. And I think that whomever will ultimately be in the position to do that will undertake that position responsibly.
KING: Do you have any question about them being the executors?
Do you have any questions...
KING: ...about Branca and McClain?
GOODMAN: I don't know either of them. I handle the custody issues. So I will leave that for Londell.
KING: Isn't Branca's reputation of the highest regard?
MCMILLAN: His reputation is his reputation, but that's different than whether or not Michael Jackson, in 2009, wanted he and McClain to be their sole executors.
KING: How do we know?
MCMILLAN: We're going to prove it.
KING: You can prove it?
MCMILLAN: We're going to prove it.
KING: Tell -- tell me...
MCMILLAN: We're going to...
KING: Unless you have a written statement from him or have him on tape saying it, how do you prove it?
MCMILLAN: Well, there's information that we intend to share with them as a courtesy to them, to -- to share with them...
KING: Why do you...
MCMILLAN: ...why we think that it was different.
KING: Why do you not want Branca and McClain to be the executors?
MCMILLAN: Well, I never said I don't want him, OK, to date, OK?
What we've been saying is that we want Mrs. Jackson to be the third one. See, the question is not about not wanting Branca.
The question is why do -- why do people not want Mrs. Jackson?
This is his mother. This is...
KING: Why didn't Michael say that in 2002?
MCMILLAN: Well, Michael said that he -- she is his trustee in 2006, 2007, 2009, not Branca, not McClain. Michael also consulted with her around business matters.
Branca and Michael had a separation -- a long separation. Branca just came back into Michael Jackson's life. Branca has a stellar career. I take that -- don't take that away from him. But there are many lawyers that have stellar careers that are not the trustee for -- for Michael Jackson -- or not the executor.
KING: I've got it.
KING: The Bronx, New York.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: hello. Yes, I was calling about Blanket. Being that Debbie has visitation rights to both older children, will Blanket be included in these activities so he won't feel left out, being that he don't have a mother nor a father right now?
KING: Will who be included?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Blanket.
GOODMAN: Will Blanket be included in the visitation...
KING: Oh. Oh, I'm sorry.
GOODMAN: ...with Deborah Rowe?
KING: I didn't hear her. Yes.
GOODMAN: It will depend if that's in Blanket's best interests or not. Right now, I don't think that's anticipated. He's never met Debbie Rowe and she's not Blanket's mother.
KING: How long is this going to go on, Londell?
MCMILLAN: Well, we hope that it's resolved soon. We have -- we have meetings with special administrators and -- and, frankly, I think that they're decent people that want to do the right thing. It's very sensitive and very...
KING: But there's no villain in the piece?
MCMILLAN: Are there -- no. There are no villains in the piece, as far as we can say. The only thing that's villainous is why would anyone want to prevent Mrs. Jackson from serving as a third executor or trustee?
KING: Do they want to prevent her?
MCMILLAN: The question is why would anyone?
And if they don't...
KING: Have they filed anything to say they don't want her?
MCMILLAN: Well, they have not accepted her to date.
What's the resolution, if any, of the resting place?
MCMILLAN: That's a -- that's a matter that...
KING: Does Katherine have a say in that?
What -- who has a say in that?
MCMILLAN: I think Mrs. Jackson will have a say.
KING: The autopsy is over, right?
So the body is somewhere. MCMILLAN: Right. That's a family matter. I tend not to go into the most private family matters. And I think, you know, you've got a number of family members coming on the show. I think they're better -- better prepared to answer those questions.
KING: Do you expect a resolution of that?
GOODMAN: At some point, yes.
KING: How long?
GOODMAN: It's up to the family. It's something they're going to have to work out.
KING: Thank you both.
Thanks for coming.
MCMILLAN: Thank you.
KING: Londell and Diane, thank you.
GOODMAN: Thank you very much.
KING: Londell McMillan, attorney for Katherine Jackson, and Diane Goodman, the attorney for Katherine as in handling custody issues for her.
Griffin O'Neal is here and he's not holding back on a volatile relationship with his father, Ryan O'Neal, and what happened with Farrah Fawcett. Those accusations are next.
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Griffin O'Neal. He's the son of Ryan O'Neal, the half-brother of Redmond O'Neal, and the son he has -- he's the mother of the late -- he's the son of the late Farrah Fawcett.
Farrah died June 25th -- wow, it seems like yesterday -- after a long battle with cancer.
When was the last time you saw her?
GRIFFIN O'NEAL, SON OF RYAN O'NEAL: I do believe it was the night before her birthday.
KING: Now, Farrah is not your mother?
O'NEAL: No, no.
KING: Farrah is your step...
O'NEAL: My mother was Joanna Moore.
KING: Joanna Moore is your mom. O'NEAL: Yes, Farrah was my -- was sort of my step mom. They were really never married, so -- so she was more my friend than...
O'NEAL: ...than anything.
KING: Was she a good friend?
O'NEAL: She was a great friend. Yes. Now, at first, she was so nice -- you know, I came from a not so nice kind of a world. We were a kind of a battling and kind of crazy family. And she was so nice, I didn't trust her. I was like how -- I don't know anybody this nice. And the crazy, sad part was that she stayed nice all the way to the end.
O'NEAL: And it broke my heart when I was not allowed in to say good-bye to her.
KING: Well, how old were you when Ryan and her got together?
O'NEAL: Thirteen, sir.
KING: Did you live with them?
O'NEAL: I was in and out. I've had a work permit since I was nine. I was in and out of the house trying to make a career for myself. And so I was in and out. Of course she was always around.
KING: Were you close with your biological mother? Are you close?
O'NEAL: My mother died back in '97. And, yes, my mother was the light of my life and actually gave me all the best parts of me.
KING: Were she and Farrah close?
O'NEAL: They had met once. They had a lot in common, just because they were two lovely southern belles. Farrah was from Texas and my mother was from south Georgia.
KING: You weren't allowed to attend the funeral at the cathedral. Why not?
O'NEAL: I guess I'm a bad guy.
KING: Who didn't let you attend?
O'NEAL: Ryan didn't want me in. I call him Ryan now. I've had to let go of him as being my dad, not that he was ever really a dad. But he said, no, no Griffin. Tatum, Patrick, even my daughter was allowed in. It's OK. I said my good-bye to Farrah the day that she died.
KING: You did speak to her?
O'NEAL: No, no, no. I said my good-byes inside my heart and with the clouds and with the higher power that I believe in. No, I had not seen her since the day before -- the day before my father tried to shoot me in the face.
KING: We'll get to that. Just weeks before Farrah's death, your father gave an interview to NBC about his feelings for her and her fight against cancer. Let's look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN O'NEAL, ACTOR: I know this, that in the last two years I love her more than I ever loved her, ever. She's so much more of a woman and a -- powerful, courageous, fearless, and I look at her with awe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: How do you feel looking at that?
O'NEAL: I remember when she was diagnosed with cancer and my dad got upset and he goes, no, I'm dying. You're not dying. I'm dying. And I said, well, dad, that sound a little selfish because you're in remission. You have been in remission for years now. It was very, very --
KING: He was mad at her having cancer?
O'NEAL: Yes, because the attention was diverted to Farrah. He didn't like that.
KING: He's a narcissist?
O'NEAL: Absolute complete narcissist in every way.
KING: Are you saying that interview was crocodile tears.
O'NEAL: I haven't seen a tear yet.
KING: Give us your description of the relationship between -- she wasn't your stepmother, because they didn't get married. The relationship between your father and Farrah, how would you describe it?
O'NEAL: It was bombastic at times. There were great times. There was very hard times. By the time Red was five, they lived in separate rooms in a very large house. So I think his room was about a mile and a half from her room. So I guess that's what kept their relationship somewhat solid, because they weren't in each other's face all the time.
Farrah was a very, very strict Catholic, and she wanted it to be done the proper way, the way that Catholicism teaches.
KING: Was he not faithful to her? O'NEAL: Faithless. He has no faith.
KING: Was he faithful to her in the marriage -- in the relationship?
KING: He saw other women?
O'NEAL: Are you kidding? She walked in on him and he was with some other woman.
KING: Do you know this for a fact or is it hearsay?
O'NEAL: No, sir, I know this for a fact. She told me. He forgot. He locked every lock in the house, except he forgot that she had a remote control for the garage, and there she is.
KING: Why do you think she left her entire estate to Redmond and none to Ryan?
O'NEAL: I think in the end -- I don't think she was as unconscious as they thought she was. When you're dying of cancer, because I watched my mother die of cancer, you're in and out of a morphine haze. I think she saw the transparency between her, my father and Alana. And I think there's a little bit more to be said about that. We'll find out later.
KING: Do you think they had a relationship?
O'NEAL: Can't say they did. I know my father very well. He's a hard one to fend off.
KING: Did you expect something in the will?
O'NEAL: I don't care. I live a great life today. Not that I'm bragging about my 401(k) plan, but I insure my family. I have a 401(k) plan. I'm the happiest I have ever been, sober almost four years. And I have no complaints.
KING: You're married.
O'NEAL: I'm married to a beautiful woman. I have three kids actually. I have a 20-year-old daughter. I have a 15-year-old son and a two-year-old. Yes, I know. I don't know what to say.
KING: We'll be right back with more, including we'll have a statement from Ryan O'Neal. Don't go away.
KING: Griffin O'Neal has a very interesting occupation. He makes guitars for the Taylor Guitar Company. He's a maker of guitars. In advance of this interview, we got a statement from Arnold Robinson, Ryan O'Neal's publicist. "Griffin has not had a relationship with Farrah or Ryan for many years. Therefore, there is no way he would have any knowledge of what was going on in their lives." Want to respond?
O'NEAL: That I would have no idea?
O'NEAL: Oh, no, I spoke to Red at least once a month, the son, my brother.
KING: You had a relationship with Farrah to the end?
O'NEAL: We had a relationship through text messaging. I sent her messages of my son. I said, I love you and please --
KING: So that statement is false?
O'NEAL: I don't even know who this person is.
KING: He's representing your father.
O'NEAL: This person has no idea what they're talking about.
KING: So you had a relationship.
O'NEAL: Oh, yes.
KING: When was the last night you talk to your father?
O'NEAL: The night he tried to shoot me in the face.
KING: Tell me what happened. By the way, he was charged and the charges were dismissed.
O'NEAL: Of course. He was also the one arrested.
KING: It was dismissed.
O'NEAL: Of course.
KING: What's your side?
O'NEAL: Well, you know what? I had finally had enough. My father, you know -- my brother would do like a seven-day -- yes, my brother Red would do a seven-day detox, and he'd split on the sixth day. And then -- so my dad would get mad and not pay the detox center.
So this happened to every detox center in Los Angeles. What ended up happening was Redmond was no longer allowed at a detox center in Los Angeles, which basically put the weight on me. So now dad got home. I had my brother locked down. I said, listen, dude, I'm sorry. I love you to death. He was broken. My brother said, I didn't think anybody was going to stop me. I didn't think anybody loved me and thank you.
He cried and held Jo-Jo, my wife, and held me and held my friend, and said, I didn't think anybody was going to stop me because my dad just let him do whatever he wanted to do, supplied him with cash for his drugs, supplied him with everything. It was a losing battle.
KING: What happened that night?
O'NEAL: That night I got home. Dad didn't like the fact the door was off the hinges, because I had to take the door off the hinges. If you closed it, he'd have dope stashed everywhere in his room, and he'd be loaded.
KING: Why did he try to shoot you?
O'NEAL: Because I said, dad, if you want to take care of this yourself, because I know you don't know what to do, I said, you're on your own. You're on your own. I don't want nothing to do. And then I started to tell him about how I felt, about how I felt about his fathering, about how I felt how he treated me when I was a child, and my sister and my mother.
KING: This was how long ago?
O'NEAL: This was that night. This was Farrah's birthday three years ago -- two years ago.
KING: So what happened?
O'NEAL: He went crazy. He went crazy. And then my girl goes, he's got a stick. I'm packing my stuff upstairs.
KING: What's a stick?
O'NEAL: I don't know. She didn't know what it was either. All I know is I got stabbed in the side with a fireplace poker. Not the shovel and not the brush. It was the gnarly part of the poker.
KING: And then he shot you?
O'NEAL: No, no. Then I said -- and as he's swinging back, he hits my girl in the face, crushing four bones in her cheeks, put nine stitches above her head. He glances at her. I grab the poker and I say, don't. Of course, all 237 pounds of him, he falls on my eight and a half month pregnant wife, right on her stomach.
I grabbed the poker out of his hand and said don't move. I will bury this in your head. Don't move. My dad is a very, very, very violent man.
KING: Did you call the police?
O'NEAL: Oh, yes. We had to. She was bleeding.
KING: Why were the charges dropped then?
O'NEAL: Well, because, honestly, I didn't know how she got the injury. My dad said he did it. He hit her. I'm like, how could I hit her? She was behind you, dad. I didn't tell him this. All she says is I saw was a poker hit me in the face.
KING: No evidence?
O'NEAL: No evidence. I was honest all the way through. I said I don't know how she got the wound. I don't know how. She says she got hit. Either way, I was not the perpetrator. The perpetrator was the guy who stabbed me in the side and hurt me.
I brought pictures. You'll see. I have a gnarly hole. Gnarly is a California word. Sorry about that.
KING: We'll be back with Griffin O'Neal in 60 seconds.
KING: We'll be back with Griffin in a couple of moments. Farrah was a guest on this show in '94. She and Ryan had been together for more than a dozen years at that point. I asked her about the relationship. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What's the secret, if there is a secret, to keeping that relationship going, in as difficult a center as you live in?
FAWCETT: I think you have to -- what is the secret?
KING: There's no real secret. What is your key?
FAWCETT: He makes me laugh. And I make him laugh. We love each other. I respect him and he respect me, although sometimes I have to say, that's not respectful. I think it's we're committed. There's a deep love, a deep support system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was 15 years ago. Do you agree it was a deep love?
O'NEAL: I do believe at first. I do believe at first they loved each other. I really do. But my dad, you know, he was very hard to love. He was hard to love.
KING: She wasn't lying, was she?
O'NEAL: No, but you could see she was hesitant. I'm not sure she was sure. They had a son together. Now you're locked in.
KING: Let me take a break. I'm going to ask about him when we come back. Don't go away.
KING: We're with Griffin O'Neal. Let's talk about your half- brother, Redmond. In the documentary "Farrah's Story," Farrah is seen reading an emotional memory to her son. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAWCETT: For Redmond, my boy, I will always be there. When you are so very young, I will be there. When you fall, I will be there. When you are over six feet tall, I will be there. When one day you wake up and realize that I'm gone, I will still be there, always.
Always with you, forever in you. Redmond, my boy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Are you close with Redmond?
KING: He's been arrested several times for drug possession, serving time now for probation violation, although he was allowed to attend the funeral. When did you last talk with him?
O'NEAL: Two Sundays ago.
KING: In prison?
O'NEAL: Yes, sir.
KING: You visit him?
O'NEAL: Yes, sir.
KING: When does he get out?
O'NEAL: I don't know. He has another case pending. I mean, he's going to do a county year. It's not a nice place.
KING: What's his problem?
O'NEAL: Well --
KING: You've had drug problems.
O'NEAL: Yes, sir.
KING: What's his?
O'NEAL: His drug of choice, Larry, is more. That means whatever you've got, he'll take it. And, you know, he needs to love himself. He needs to find the love for himself. He is an amazing musician. He is an amazing individual.
He definitely turned left instead of right. I had so many good dreams for him. I wanted to get him out of the United States and say, just go live in Italy, go live in Spain. Get out of L.A. It is killing you.
KING: He seemed very close with his mother?
O'NEAL: He was her pride and joy. You know? And, you know, Redmond hung out with Ryan a lot, because Ryan allowed the drug use. He allowed the drug use in the house. And that was one of the reasons me and my dad fought. I said, you know what? You are killing your son. I don't think you know what you're doing.
KING: Are Ryan and Redmond close?
O'NEAL: Well, I think they are probably going to get a lot closer now, since Redmond has all the money. Who knows? Yes, they are close but for reasons that are ill. Ill reasons.
O'NEAL: They party together. They were both arrested. My dad had more dope on him than Redmond did. This isn't the '70s anymore.
KING: When you were addicted, did your step-father party with you?
O'NEAL: I was 11 years old when he gave me cocaine and said we're going to see a long movie called "Barry Lindon." It's a very long movie. Maybe this well help you. I was 11. I look down at my little two-year-old and I go, you know what, I'm so sorry, but I could never, ever, ever do that to my child.
Yes, I have had a life time of hellacious nights crying, staying up too late, wondering what I did to my life. It destroyed me. It wasted many, many years of my life.
KING: What's your relationship, by the way, with Tatum?
O'NEAL: We're best friends. I worry about her.
KING: How is she doing?
O'NEAL: She's battling. It's been a battle for her, too. I guess people use substances to shut off the noise in their head. What ends up happening is the noises go away for a second, and then they come back completely amplified and then you are in a deeper hole than you were.
She is struggling to stay sober. I think she's OK now, but I have had to push a -- I had to put some distance between us for a while, because I didn't think she was that healthy.
KING: Why are you going public like this?
O'NEAL: You know, when I saw the Barbara Walters interview, I was screaming at the TV, going is it only me that sees this? Is it me? Does anybody else see this? This was absolute BS. I could not believe it.
My dad saying, you know, did she say yes. Well, no, she can't talk but we'll nod her head for her. I was turning inside out. I was like, you have to be kidding me. How absolutely disgusting was that?
KING: It is not true? O'NEAL: No. It's on Barbara Walters. He says he is going to nod her head for her, because he really wanted to marry her. She didn't want to marry him. She loved him, but she did not want to marry him. My dad was not nice to her.
KING: You went public because of that interview?
O'NEAL: You know what? Everybody's had a lot of questions on what the heck happened to the O'Neal family.
O'NEAL: Yes. And I'm -- I don't want to hide anymore.
KING: Was it ever nice?
O'NEAL: Yes, of course. It was money. And I think you misconstrued money with niceness. So, oh, if there's money, you can do things and you are provided other little things and opportunities to do whatever. But, you know, if you are raised around drugs and alcohol, then the money becomes something else. Money becomes something you can procure more dope with. And, you know, it was just decadent. And to me it wasn't really real.
KING: Back in a moment.
KING: We want to repeat this. Griffin has made some serious charges tonight. We have not spoken to Ryan. Here is a statement from his publicist: "Griffin has not had a relationship with Farrah or Ryan for many years. Therefore, there is no way he would have any knowledge of what was going on in their lives."
We read that earlier and you answered earlier.
KING: Been reporting that your father says he didn't recognize Tatum at the funeral, and when she embraced him, he asked, do you have a drink on you? Do you have a car? What do you think of that story?
O'NEAL: He was flirting with everybody.
KING: With his daughter?
O'NEAL: He doesn't -- My dad is getting up in the years now. I don't think he really recognizes people that he's known for years.
KING: His daughter.
O'NEAL: It was his daughter. He didn't realize it was her.
KING: Something about you; in 1986, you were driving a speedboat when a horrible accident occurred, killed Francis Ford Coppola's son, John Carlo. You were acquitted of manslaughter, but convicted of negligent operation of a boat. The trial judge said you had a history of lying with little respect for others. Was that statement true in 1986?
O'NEAL: Well, I never met the judge before, and I didn't know if I had a history of lying or not. But I probably did. I -- that was one of the hardest times in my life. And I did lie. I said it wasn't me that was driving the boat. And I owned up to that. And I will live with that every day.
KING: You -- this whole life has been incredible for you. You must look in the mirror and say --
O'NEAL: I try to avoid mirrors, Larry.
KING: You are also angry about Alana Stewart, too?
O'NEAL: I don't trust her. She was selling Farrah's stuff on eBay the day Farrah died. Trust me, I know who she sells through on eBay. I am disgusted with those people. I thought they were exploiting her. I think that they will continue to exploit her through the "Farrah Story II" and Alana's new book.
KING: We are almost out of time. Get one more quick call in. Detroit, hello. Detroit, are you there?
KING: Quickly, go ahead.
CALLER: I want to ask Mr. Griffin if he is worried about any relationship that is left over with his dad, that if there will be a relationship?
KING: Any hope of that?
O'NEAL: You know, I can honestly say my dad has not called me once. He has shown zero remorse for the 22 stitches he put in my wife's face. And he showed very little remorse for trying to shoot me in the face. I'm having a hard time thinking there is going to be some reconciliation.
KING: I don't like to make judgments. I don't think you love your father.
O'NEAL: Really? You know what is sad --
KING: I have come to that conclusion.
O'NEAL: I would forgive him if he showed remorse and apologized. You know what? I miss my father. I miss my father the way -- there was glimpses of wonderfulness in my father.
KING: Thanks for coming forward.
O'NEAL: Good luck.
KING: Griffin O'Neal.
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are here tomorrow. Time now for our gal, Erica Hill. She is sitting in for Anderson Cooper. Here is Erica and "AC 360."