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Piers Morgan Live

Interview with Tatum O'Neal

Aired June 19, 2011 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, Tatum O'Neal, her battle with addiction, took her to hell and back. Now she tells her incredible life story. The drugs, her marriage to bad boy John McEnroe, and most of all, her troubled relationship with her father.

Tonight, Tatum O'Neal talking as never before about Ryan.


MORGAN: Your brother said that your father gave him drugs when he was, I think, 11. Did he do that to you?

TATUM O'NEAL, ACTRESS: You'll to have to ask him.

MORGAN: Why are you reluctant to say?

O'NEAL: Because we have a show we're doing and it just -- I just don't want to say any incriminating things that are going to make it harder to kind of make peace. I know for sure my dad made a lot of mistakes. I'm sure that he is living with them today.



Tatum, welcome. Before we begin, I want to show you an incredible moment in your career to kick things off.



O'NEAL: And if you ain't my pa, I want my $200. I want my $200. I heard you through the door talking to that man. It's my money, you've got and I want it.

RYAN O'NEAL, ACTOR: Now you just hold on a second.

O'NEAL: I want my money. You took my $200!

RYAN O'NEAL: Will you quiet down, you hear?

O'NEAL: I want my $200!

(END VIDEO CLIP) . MORGAN: That was, of course, the role that made Tatum O'Neal a superstar, "Paper Moon," but her life off screen has been, to say the least, tumultuous, but certainly her relationship with her father, Ryan. Their relationship is documented in a new series, "Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals," premiering on Sunday on the OWN Network. And Tatum O'Neal joins me now.

Tatum, how are you?

O'NEAL: I'm well.

MORGAN: You're like part of my life. I mean, we're almost born in the same year. When you were winning all your Oscars, I was dreaming of winning Oscars. I feel like I've grown up my entire life with you and your dad and the whole O'Neal kind of thing, reverberating.

O'NEAL: Great. I like to hear that.

MORGAN: How do you feel about that?

O'NEAL: Well, I've always thought you were a part of our family.


O'NEAL: Here we are. We look a little alike.

MORGAN: We do.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: Maybe we are part of the same family.

O'NEAL: Yes. Morgan O'Neal.


Tell me this. It's interesting that the show -- I watched a bit of it last night. And fascinating, everyone knows the history between the two of you. Obviously (INAUDIBLE), it has been checkered, to put it mildly. Do you have an overwhelming sense of relief, both of you, do you think, that at least you've managed to get back to somewhere even if it's not perfect yet?

O'NEAL: Exactly. I think that the conversation started and that's all I could have asked for because we had such trouble just having a conversation, just saying, hello, just getting to, you know, what's your day like and can you come over for Father's Day on Sunday, which my dad asked me earlier today and I said, yes.

So it's just -- we get caught in the little things and I think having the cameras there almost because we are actors in a way made it easier and made it more comfortable.

MORGAN: How did you feel when he asked you over for Father's Day?

O'NEAL: I felt like I would be there for him because it's Father's Day and it's the day our show launches and it seemed like the right thing to do.

MORGAN: Have you watched it together yet?


MORGAN: What are you expecting?

O'NEAL: When we watch it together or when I watch it altogether? I don't know.

MORGAN: Are you going to be sitting there on Sunday and both watch it.

O'NEAL: Well, I thought it's going to start -- it's going to be at 10:00, so I was like, I thought I would be tired so I might want to go back home. But if he wants me to, I will, you know, because I want to tweet during it and everything. So -- and he doesn't know what that is and I don't know if I get reception in the Malibu.

MORGAN: I mean, I get the sense that you probably -- everywhere you've been, in terms of the media, for the last 25 years, it's always, tell me about your dad. Do you hate your dad? Are you talking to your dad? Is your dad talking to you, and so on.

O'NEAL: That's really true. And it's during my book tour a little bit. It has been, so what does your dad like think about the book? And what does your dad -- how did he get that temper? And at a certain point, I just said, you know, I don't know and maybe you should ask him. But you'll get to. And you'll probably not even ask me about him.

MORGAN: Well, it's interesting -- I will ask you about him but only because I'm going to be interviewing him...

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: ... after I interview you...

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: ... which I've never been in that position before. I think the whole dynamic of that is quite fascinating.

O'NEAL: For sure.

MORGAN: See, I kind of think with you that, you know, he -- when he pushed -- not pushed you, but encouraged into the same business, he was...

O'NEAL: I would say pushed.

MORGAN: Yes. I mean, he was the adult doing the pushing.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: He was shoving you through the fame door which you didn't need to go through. When you see that little girl in "Paper Moon" -- a role that changed your life -- when you see that, do you wish sometimes you'd never been pushed into that world?

O'NEAL: I don't really think about that. I have -- I had the life that I have. I had the upbringing that I have. I had the experience that I have. So the idea of sort of -- the other alternative would have been maybe to stay with my mom and her direction was going very badly.

So I often think the best thing to do or the best decision that could have been made between the two would have been to be with him. And I've had kind of an amazing life, you know. It has been hard. It has had some very big downs and some great ups. But I don't think that I would take the girl next door, even though there are other families that I look at that I kind of admire.

Lately, I've been thinking like the Middletons and the way that they are with their father. You know, there seems to be a very -- a big closeness there and I often think, oh, how lucky they are, you know, the girls.

MORGAN: Yes. I mean, that must be -- it must be painful that to see any father-daughter relationship that you weren't able to enjoy. Yours has always been so fractious.

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: And it was complicated with your mother too.

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: Not easy to look at people who have what, I presume, you would have loved to have had.

O'NEAL: Right, which seems like consistency...

MORGAN: Stability.

O'NEAL: ... stability, normalcy, that stuff. And I...

MORGAN: But you've always been his daughter.

O'NEAL: Right.

MORGAN: So that would have brought with it a kind of residual fame anyway.

O'NEAL: Exactly. Exactly. And I was his daughter when he did "Love Story" before I had ever done "Paper Moon" and I used to, you know, go around bragging that my dad was in "Love Story."

MORGAN: But it was an amazing film "Love Story."

O'NEAL: Beautiful.

MORGAN: I mean, I've watched it countless times. O'NEAL: Beautiful film.

MORGAN: Do you ever -- do you still watch it every now and again?

O'NEAL: Of course and "What's Up Doc?"

MORGAN: Really?

O'NEAL: Oh, yes, with my daughter.

MORGAN: And when you watch your dad in "Love Story," he played such a kind of gentle character, loving, you know -- I mean, ironically, of course, difficult relationship with his father in the movie. And they sort of come to terms right at the end.

O'NEAL: But you see -- I'm going to move back a little, that is my dad. My dad has that kind of seductive, soft, sweet, gentle, loving side. So it's always so confusing when that side isn't always there and you're a little bit off balance because he has a temper side.

So, that's him and that's what we all love. And that -- so he isn't all bad and he isn't all great but, you know, neither are any of us. It's just -- it's just complicated.

MORGAN: What are the biggest misconceptions?

O'NEAL: About him?

MORGAN: Let's focus on you.

O'NEAL: OK. About me?

MORGAN: Yes. What do you think? For people who don't know you.

O'NEAL: Perhaps that I -- I would imagine that people probably think that maybe I'm a sort of frivolous drug addict who has it all and sort of just decided to throw my life away, maybe.

That isn't the case, obviously. I'm very sensitive and quirky and sometimes weird (ph) person who, you know, fell into some hard times and has worked very hard to come back and to have the best life that I can have; raise kids and be a mom and be a worker among workers and make a living and do all the things that, as a sort of whole woman, I would have liked to do had I not maybe had the big problems growing up.

MORGAN: How much have the drugs played a part in the downside of your life?

O'NEAL: I would say 98 percent. Yes, it has been very, very -- it has had a very negative effect on me on all areas; both in my physical body, my financial world, my relationship with my children. I mean, it kind of has really screwed up every kind of possibility. So yes, I would have passed that whole thing and been fine.

MORGAN: We'll take a short break and come back and talk about -- we're going to talk about how you got into that in the first place.


MORGAN: And how you got out.

O'NEAL: Sure.

MORGAN: So it will end on a happier note.

O'NEAL: OK, good.


MORGAN: This was a scene from June 2008 when you, I guess, hit rock bottom.

O'NEAL: One of the times. It's not every time.


O'NEAL: I've had worse times too.

MORGAN: Right. This is where you've been arrested for buying crack cocaine. Tell me the first time you ever took drugs.

O'NEAL: Eleven in Los Angeles.

MORGAN: How did you get them?

O'NEAL: They were around. It was the '70s, you know? It was around everywhere. It seemed to be around everywhere I went, funny enough, twelve, thirteen.

MORGAN: People's houses?

O'NEAL: People's houses.

MORGAN: And what was the drug?

O'NEAL: First pot, then Quaaludes, I think, and then -- first alcohol actually, and then, you know, it just led on and on.

MORGAN: I mean, your brother said that your father gave him drugs when he was, I think, 11. Did he do that to you?

O'NEAL: You'll have to ask him.

MORGAN: Why are you reluctant to say?

O'NEAL: Because we have a show we're doing and it just -- I just don't want to say any incriminating things that are going to make it harder to kind of make peace and have a healing. Just every time I kind of bring up the bad stuff, it just doesn't go towards making a healing and getting us to a better place. I know for sure my dad made a lot of mistakes. I'm sure that he's living with them today.

MORGAN: I mean, to be that age. I've got three sons -- two are around that age. The idea of them taking drugs just sickens me.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: It horrifies me.

O'NEAL: It's disgusting. It is. Imagine my kids too, you know, even at 25. I mean, it's criminal.

MORGAN: I mean, it is.

O'NEAL: It is, yes. And at the same time, he's my dad and, for whatever reason, I decided that I was going to turn -- I was going to have something to do with him and after 25 years of not talking to him at all, it's probably ending up being a good thing.

You know, I grew into the woman that I'm sort of still becoming and trying to be and, luckily, he -- you know, there's never -- it's never too late to forgive someone and it's never -- and it's OK to give people a second chance even if they are child molesters or -- I mean, I believe that and it's my family, you know.

And just because we're public, you know, it doesn't mean that there's -- I would always want to try to be forgiven especially because my dad was willing to kind of having the conversation with cameras, you know? He was willing to do that. To me, that's a big deal.

MORGAN: No, I totally agree.

O'NEAL: Right? I mean, not...

MORGAN: Making it public, I mean, there's no...


O'NEAL: That means like...

MORGAN: There's no hiding place.

O'NEAL: Yes, I don't know any father that would say, yes, let's turn on the cameras and talk about the past. You know, it's not a fun place to look even in great families. So I thought it was pretty brave of him.

MORGAN: What have been your worst moments involving drugs when you look back, the ones where you felt most ashamed?

O'NEAL: Well, obviously like you showed, the arrest, that was terrible. I've had terrible rock bottoms with heroin where I thought I would definitely die and almost died, sadly, which I'm super grateful to be alive and to be well and to be sitting here.

MORGAN: How did you get to heroin?

O'NEAL: Through a friend, a person, after my divorce.

MORGAN: Still call him friend? O'NEAL: No.

MORGAN: Not much of a friend.

O'NEAL: I mean, you know -- yes, yes. You know what? It's not the person, it's me. I chose to take it. You know, he -- he didn't, like, you know, wrap me up and stick a gun to my head. It was my choice so -- it's -- the thing is, is that it's no one's fault but yourself at the -- at the end of the day and I did it. I wish I hadn't done it, really, but at the same time, I am who I am for the experiences that I've gone through, good, bad, and ugly.

And maybe I am more empathic, maybe I'm a nicer person, maybe I'm a more loving mother because I have seen the dark side like that, because I have gone to hell and back. And I did almost die, and I did shoot cocaine, and I did, you know, lose my kids, and I did get them back.

And I put all of the family through a lot of hell. And I feel like how lucky am I that I can sit here and be in a good place and be able to talk to you and be able to like talk to my dad and have him maybe get to know me now, not a junkie and not dead, and maybe he'll be proud of me and maybe not, you know?

Maybe he won't love the Tatum that I am today, but I hope so. And that's maybe what the show's going to be about.

MORGAN: When you look at yourself now, what do you see and what do you think?

O'NEAL: I feel good about myself. I kind of like her. She's nice, she's friendly, she's outgoing, she's generous. She loves her kids and...

MORGAN: See, I'm surprised, yesterday, for example.

O'NEAL: I mean, I am quirky, you know, so...

MORGAN: Well, here's the thing, I've never met you and I've just read all this stuff obviously to get sort of idea -- a mythical idea of someone.

O'NEAL: Sure.

MORGAN: And we came -- we bumped into each other on the elevator here and I didn't recognize you. And I -- and then when you went, it's Tatum, I'm -- you're interviewing me tomorrow night. I thought, well, this is a very attractive, normal-looking woman, how can this be the crazy Tatum O'Neal?

O'NEAL: Thank you for saying that. It's so funny. A friend of mine said that today. It's like you don't look like that and people have a preconceived idea of what that looks like. And I'm out here trying to dispel that idea that we all are -- we all are human beings and we are allowed to have a second chance. And people shouldn't just presume just because you've done a drug that's illegal that you're a bad person. I've never -- I've never -- you know, I never have gone out of my way really to hurt anybody. I have really gone out of my way to hurt myself. I'm really working on that today because that does have a residual effect on my kids, on my friendships, on my career, obviously, and...

MORGAN: Do you think you're winning the battle?

O'NEAL: I know I'm winning the battle.

MORGAN: How long have you been clean now?

O'NEAL: I've been sober for a year now.

MORGAN: And are you proud of that, yourself?

O'NEAL: Like beyond. And the fact of the matter is, is like it's a year but it's many years from the time that I was strung out and copping drugs, you know, in Manhattan years -- years and years ago when I used to be a heroin addict.

So, how could I not be proud? I'm like...

MORGAN: You should be proud.

O'NEAL: I pray every day, I'm grateful -- I'm so grateful that I got a second chance that perhaps this journey that has been so difficult and so -- it has been so raw, you know? There hasn't been a lot of filter between me and the public, me and life, that this may help a young girl who is in a situation where she is using drugs and she feels ashamed and she can't stop.

And maybe she'll go to get help or she'll go to a meeting or she'll say, you know, if Tatum O'Neal can actually talk about it and do it and turn her life around, you know, maybe I can.

MORGAN: You're right.

O'NEAL: Thanks.

MORGAN: We'll take another break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about Farrah Fawcett.

O'NEAL: Sure.


MORGAN: I want to talk about Farrah Fawcett in a moment. But first, what's your view of "Weiner-gate" and -- I mean, he's an addict really.

O'NEAL: First of all, it's really sad because he was a really -- a kind of an ambitious -- really ambitious up and coming Congressman who wanted to be mayor. So the idea that he self-sabotaged, this hugely speaks to a definite addiction, whether it's -- he knew it was an addiction or not, I don't know, but it's a complete sabotage of everything and...

MORGAN: Do you recognize that kind of self-destruct button?

O'NEAL: Yes. It's almost like he had to do it in a way it seems like even though he's married to one of the most beautiful women in the world, he had to kind of -- this compulsion. It speaks very highly to addiction and to...

MORGAN: And in terms of addiction, is it the same compulsion that you would have felt for heroin, say? You know it's bad for you, you know it's wrong but you can't stop.

O'NEAL: I don't send any pictures of myself naked or otherwise through the Internet or Twitter, I promise, I swear, and never have, but -- so I don't know that. But I can imagine that -- the fact that he did that so recently after his marriage speaks to an incredible compulsion to kind of -- that no matter what happens he had to do it kind of thing because it's -- Twitter is a social media. It is not private. So...

MORGAN: What's the best way for any addict to try and deal with it once this has all been blown up like it has?

O'NEAL: There are so many different ways now. You can reach out and get help. You can go to detox. You can...

MORGAN: What did you find was the best way?

O'NEAL: For me, a 12-step program worked for me.

MORGAN: Did it save your life, do you think?

O'NEAL: I know it's saving my life a day at a time, for sure. And lucky me for finding it. And it's funny because I had gone to 10 treatments and I'm not saying that treatment isn't a great way to kind of detox and get better and find some help, but at the end of the day there's a way that you can save lives.

You can save your own life and I think it'd be better -- it'd be great to get some more women in there because I feel like women are not coming in as much as men to this program and not getting the help that they could...

MORGAN: How do you physically feel these days?

O'NEAL: Amazing.

MORGAN: Do you miss drugs?

O'NEAL: Not even -- not even a little bit.

MORGAN: Are you surprised at that?

O'NEAL: I'm grateful. I don't really think about it because it's like why should I think about something? If it's not broke, don't fix it. But I'm just grateful. I'm just grateful that I'm -- that I don't need to change the way I feel, like I always felt so uncomfortable and so sad and so not worthy of the world, that I needed to kind of change to survive.

And today I don't feel that. I feel very grateful. I feel very contented and comfortable in a way, which I had never felt. And that's obvious too if you kind of look at me over the last decades or see other interviews or look at an Oprah interview from like when my first book came out.

MORGAN: Yes, I did look at that.

O'NEAL: Yes, you can see that I'm a jumpier girl, woman. I'm not as -- I can't answer a question as well. I can't really look at you in the eye as well. And I do think that that -- it is what it is. I mean, I'm better so...

MORGAN: I mean, you had in the middle of this -- in the middle of trying to recover, you got hit by a double whammy really. One big one, Farrah Fawcett, who played this huge, you know, part of your life in many ways. And also Michael Jackson, of course, you actually dated for a while.

O'NEAL: Well, he was my friend and -- you know, and we did -- we went on a date although he was like a child at 18 and I was a real child at 13. So, you know, and if you think about those ages at the end of his life and the stuff that he went through, that could seem questionable that I was 13 and he was 18.

But, first of all, I just think it was really sad that two great people died on the same day and that -- you know, sort of Farrah didn't get the kind of news she could have had perhaps.

MORGAN: And to get both these pieces of news must have been such a weird experience for you.

O'NEAL: We knew -- we knew that Farrah was very sick. And we knew -- and then I had been getting updates that she was, you know, getting closer and getting closer. Michael Jackson was a terrible, terrible, terrible shock.

MORGAN: I tell you what, hold it there, we're going to have a short break. Let's come back and talk more about this because it's fascinating.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Don Lemon, live in New York. Here are your headlines this hour. Massive wildfires are spreading throughout the western part of the country. Red flag warnings are up in parts of seven states which means weather conditions are adding up to an extreme fire risk. Dozens of fires are burning right now. But Arizona is seeing the worst of it with a half million acres already burned.

Argentina's largest lake is filling with ash. It's coming from a volcano in Chile which has caused headaches for air travelers from South America all the way to Australia. The cone has been spewing clouds of ash more than six miles high for more than a week. Authorities in Chile lifted an evacuation order this weekend for more than 4,000 people who live near the volcano. Geologists expect it to grow quiet over the next couple of weeks, hopefully.

Syria's military is inching closer to the Turkish border. This video appears to show a fire smoldering near the border, a posted on YouTube says Syrian troops caused the blaze by shelling the area, trying to keep civilians from fleeing to the north. Some 10,000 refugees have already sought shelter in Turkey.

CNN's Arwa Damon has more on military action and civilians fleeing the area.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Video posted to YouTube, whose authenticity CNN cannot independently verify, appeared to show tanks and armored personnel carriers entering the town. This news has sent even more people fleeing for refuge in neighboring Turkey and also causing them to set up small makeshift camps alongside the Syrian- Turkish border, but still inside Syria.


LEMON: And from Syria to this: Sonic the Hedgehog has reason to be angry. Sega, the Japanese gaming company that made Sonic famous, is the latest victim of computer hackers. They stole personal data from more than 1 million users Friday. The information includes names, birth dates, e-mail addresses and passwords, but no credit card information. Sega says it is investigating the cyber crime.

More on those stories coming up at the top of the hour. In the meantime, PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT continues right now.


MORGAN: My special guest, Tatum O'Neal.

Fascinating before we went to the break about this awful day for you, Michael Jackson, a long-time friend, and then Farrah Fawcett, dying.

O'NEAL: But, I mean, that ties into addiction, doesn't it? Like who knew he would be even like that addicted that he was taking something that could kill him every day. I mean, that was tragic.

And obviously Farrah, because I sort of lost something that I never had. I never really knew her well enough for her to really take in the role of being my mom.

MORGAN: You were 15 when your dad got together with her. That's an awkward age for any daughter, I think.

O'NEAL: For me it was.

MORGAN: And did you feel not a sense of abandonment but something like that?

O'NEAL: I felt the sense of abandonment.

MORGAN: You did?

O'NEAL: Oh, yes. Sure I did.

MORGAN: He was replacing you with...

O'NEAL: Oh, he left me for her, for sure. I felt -- I didn't get mad at her though. I was mad at him.

MORGAN: Did you ever get mad at her?

O'NEAL: No. No. Because she was nice. You know, she was a nice woman. And she -- it wasn't her fault. It was my dad. He made the choice. So I kind of -- I think there was a point that -- first of all, I was 15 and she was the most beautiful woman in the world. So I felt awkward most of the time around her.

And I was sort of like, you know, looking at her pictures and thinking, gosh, you know, how I am going to kind of compete?

MORGAN: She was one of the most beautiful women in the world, of course.

O'NEAL: Yes. How am I going to -- like, it was a little off- putting. And so I just was better off kind of figuring out my own...

MORGAN: Did you have any real relationship with her for a long time?

O'NEAL: Just that one that I write about in my book, where I went to talk to her while she knew she was sick in her apartment, and got to kind of talk to her. I didn't.

MORGAN: When you did finally talk to her, when she knew she was dying, what was it like to talk to this woman who had been such a pivotal figure in your life without really being one. Was she sorry to you for what had happened?

O'NEAL: No. There was never an acknowledgement, in a way, in our family of kind of what really happened. There was a lot of sort of a -- a kind of movie star denial, in a way, that our life isn't real and what we -- our responsibilities don't really apply to us, kind of thing.

So, no. But that was OK. Like, I wasn't looking for an apology. I just wanted to kind of say my respects and show her that I was a woman, that I was doing well, that I wasn't addicted to drugs, that I had three beautiful children, that I was doing OK.

And she was very kind of supportive and asking me all about myself and what was I doing. And I felt a sense really from her peers that she wanted to kind of be doing the things that I was doing and have the opportunity to be out and to be working and stuff.

And in a way, I felt sad. Beyond just sad for her sickness, but sad that she -- you know, that she -- because she was always like a girl, you know? She was never really like...

MORGAN: Do you think she was the love of your dad's life?

O'NEAL: Well, I think so. I mean, at this point it seems like -- you know, I wouldn't say no, it wasn't. I don't know anymore. He has just had so many women. There were so many before her, you know? I always say that she was the American one, before he went through every great beauty in Europe, and...

MORGAN: I mean, the most uncomfortable story involving the three of you, I thought, was at Farrah's funeral, when not only does your father not recognize you, but he also hits on you. Is this true?

O'NEAL: Well, if you know my dad, and you'll get to meet him, you'll sort of see that he is just always joking and stuff. And I'm not saying this was a joke. But we had not seen each other at this point in, I don't know, a good decade.

And I don't know how well he sees anymore. And I'm not so sure that he hears very well, either. So speak up in your interview. But he just saw that I had all this sort of blond hair, and that was in my face. And he went, hey, you know, how are you doing? And then he sort of went, oh, my God, it's you, Tatum. And I went, yes, dad, it's me. How are you? And like, I'm sorry.

MORGAN: I mean, the word awkward could have been invented for that moment.

O'NEAL: Yes. But we sort of laughed about it. And that's sort of how we are. You know, we laughed about it. It wasn't like this, ew, he's a letch. It wasn't like that.

MORGAN: Is he basically just an incurable romantic, do you think, your dad?

O'NEAL: Totally. That is so...

MORGAN: He loves women?

O'NEAL: You're so right. That is totally it. Does that excuse terrible parenting? No. But that's it. He is. He's just -- that's his whole life. And he doesn't understand anybody that isn't like that. Because I'm not. You know, I'm much more practical.

MORGAN: We're going to go from an incurable romantic to an incurable man of many tantrums, Mr. McEnroe, after the break.

O'NEAL: Oh, sure.



MORGAN: Tatum, you've had -- I mean, obviously, it's a fascinating read, this book.

O'NEAL: Thank you.

MORGAN: And a lot of it is by definition pretty miserable. I mean, I feel for you, it's sad to read this stuff.

O'NEAL: Not really all of it, like...

MORGAN: No, that's not what I'm saying to you, is it? Amid all of this stuff, the ups and downs of your life, and the bad stuff, there has been lots of great stuff. I mean, in the end, Tatum O'Neal, you were brought up in Hollywood royalty, you've had a pretty crazy fun life as well. Tell me about the good stuff.

O'NEAL: First of all, you know, it's funny that you would ask that. Right now, honestly, is the nicest, the best time ever. And I think one of the funnest, if you will, or happiest, or lightest was making our show and kind of doing that because it was so weird and different, and because we also think, you know, so low -- we just think very -- we don't think very highly of reality television.

So the idea that we were going to kind of put our story out there was like -- but at the same time it was a different thing, it was more a docu-series. And it was more -- it was real -- more real, if you will.

MORGAN: Your dad in the '70s, I read a survey that he was only second to Clint Eastwood in the male leads.

O'NEAL: The hottest dude in the planet.

MORGAN: I mean, literally.

O'NEAL: And so I was his little sidekick. I had a good time.

MORGAN: What was it like walking around with Ryan O'Neal after "Love Story"?

O'NEAL: It was fun. I went to the Faces concert, I went to The Stones concert, I went to David Bowie. I sat in the front row of, you know, the -- I mean, I went to The Stones in, like, the '70s. I mean, I had so much fun. ZZ Top, we went everywhere. We...

MORGAN: What was the moment? What was the most exciting thing you ever did, when you look back at it, wow?

O'NEAL: I did some fun things with my ex-husband as well. We went to George Harrison's, stayed and spent the whole day with him and played -- and Harrison and my ex-husband played tennis, and my kids got to go through the moat. That was pretty amazing.

MORGAN: Was he any good, George?

O'NEAL: Yes, and nice, gosh, he was so nice.

MORGAN: Good tennis player?

O'NEAL: Yes. And his son Ben was amazing. MORGAN: I would imagine John never liked to lose to anybody.

O'NEAL: Not anybody, not his sons, who are pretty good, not anybody. Not at even Pac-Man.

MORGAN: He even destroyed George Harrison's game?

O'NEAL: Well, he was sort of giving a little lesson to Ben, his son, who is now grown. But that was pretty fun.

And I think just going around the world and kind of meeting the people we had met and...

MORGAN: Who was the most impressive person you met? Who left the biggest impression on you?

O'NEAL: So far I honestly would have to say Oprah. Like, I'm not kidding. In terms of just giving me the biggest kind of life change or moment of -- for me, Tatum, it may be different for my dad, but I think I also was obsessed in the '70s with Rod Stewart and the Faces, so...

MORGAN: Really?

O'NEAL: Yes. So I was...

MORGAN: Did you and Rod ever...

O'NEAL: Never.

MORGAN: You are his type, blonde.

O'NEAL: Yes. But, no, luckily. Not that I wouldn't if he had wanted to, but he didn't.


MORGAN: I bet he wanted to.

O'NEAL: I swear to God he's not even -- he didn't do anything to me. He didn't even try.

MORGAN: Really?

O'NEAL: I would have, but I think I was...

MORGAN: You must be offended, aren't you?

O'NEAL: Listen, when I saw him with the Faces, it was 1975. And...

MORGAN: You were already like...

O'NEAL: And that was when Ron Wood...

MORGAN: You were 11.

O'NEAL: Exactly.


O'NEAL: That was when -- so he wouldn't have gone that far. But, OK, another one, Mick Jagger carried me out of a party at...

MORGAN: Bet he did. What happened there? Where was he taking you?

O'NEAL: He was taking me to the car because I was sleeping because I was 11. That was pretty fun. So there was a lot of fun things like that.

There was a lot of like exciting memories, a lot of great parties, a lot of interesting people. Woody Allen once -- I was sitting at a table with him at Sue Menger's house, again, and I was cutting my food and he goes, what are you doing? And I go, well, I'm cutting my food. And he goes, no, no, no, don't do that. Don't ever do that again.

And I was like, OK, it was squeaking and I didn't know that. I was like, OK. And then never did that again on a plate, like with it going, squeak.

MORGAN: So now every time you hear a squeaking, you think of Woody Allen.

O'NEAL: I think of Woody Allen going, OK, Tatum, put that down. I was like, OK.


O'NEAL: So, I mean, it's like -- it has been like that a lot. I mean, there are so many of those experiences though.

MORGAN: Do you think it was that? I mean, your dad in "Love Story" was so mesmerizing as a star that you can't even imagine when you watched it he was going to go on to be the great romantic lead for the next 20 years. And he didn't really. Why do you think that it never really happened in the way it should have done?

O'NEAL: I'm not really sure. I have some suspicions, but I'm not sure.

MORGAN: What are you suspicions?

O'NEAL: I wouldn't tell you, because they're my suspicions, so I'm not going to say it on national television.

MORGAN: Sounds really juicy.

O'NEAL: I think that people sometimes go down a wrong path, and that path isn't the path that would bring you the kind of success that would be, you know, 20, 30, 40 years later. And I think that that's OK and we need to forgive those people. You know, I don't think...

MORGAN: Would you like to be in a movie again? O'NEAL: I think I would like to be working in a way that was just where I would be considered kind of thing. I think that's more than just being in any movie, I think I want to be able to just have the possibility. And I think I'm sort of getting back a little bit to that. But...

MORGAN: Do you get offers at the moment, or are people still a little wary?

O'NEAL: Well, for -- I think people are wary. That's fine.

MORGAN: Are they right to be, do you think? Would you employ yourself right now?

O'NEAL: I would totally employ myself. I'm great talent.


O'NEAL: I mean, I am.

MORGAN: Your confidence is back now.

O'NEAL: Yes. So I would in a second, because I think there aren't enough people that are -- you know, that are really talented.

MORGAN: What's the best advice Oprah has given you? Because she's a wise lady.

O'NEAL: Well, she said to me Oprah OWN -- kind of launch of launch of OWN, she said, Tatum, 2011 is going to be the best year you've ever had. And I just think maybe that there is a little truth to that.

MORGAN: She gives people hope, Oprah, I think. I interviewed Sarah Ferguson, who has got her own show on OWN as well.

O'NEAL: That's right.

MORGAN: And she said the same thing. She had a real affinity to Oprah that she couldn't quite explain, but I got it.

O'NEAL: I just think that she always said that there was something broken in her and that was she was able to fix it in public herself without a man, without all of the accoutrements that sort of are the things that women think that they can.

And I think that that is the message. The message is, don't ever not get up. Get up and believe, and keep believing, because you can redo everything. And that's sort of my hope for 2011 and continuing on, is just that I stay very busy, that I stay making money to support myself and kind of having the life that have always dreamed of.

MORGAN: When you walk around, what reaction do you get from the public these days?

O'NEAL: Oh, I get a lot of women saying, we love you, Tatum. Because of the honesty, you know, with the books, and so much. But that is -- now I'm on Twitter. Are you on Twitter?


O'NEAL: Yes. So I...

MORGAN: You're not following me?

O'NEAL: Well, I will now.

MORGAN: You better be.

O'NEAL: Gosh darn it, I will now.

MORGAN: What's your address?

O'NEAL: @Tatum_Oneal.

MORGAN: @Tatum_Oneal.

O'NEAL: Yes.

MORGAN: Well, I'm @PiersMorgan.

O'NEAL: Well, there you go. We're going to be...

MORGAN: We need to meet in cyberspace.

O'NEAL: We will.

MORGAN: We can invite Anthony Weiner.

O'NEAL: Let's not say that, I don't want any pictures. No pictures, please.


O'NEAL: Yes, no. It's all looking up from here, that's all I can say. And thank goodness for that. And I think that I'm somewhat of a miracle and I don't quite know how that happened.

MORGAN: We'll have a short break. And when come back, I want to ask you on that same theme, really, do you think you're going to live happily ever after now?

LEMON: I'm Don Lemon live in New York. Let's get you caught up on the headlines.

Massive wildfires spreading throughout the western part of this country. Red flag warnings are up in parts of, get this, seven states. And that means weather conditions are adding up to an extreme fire risk. Dozens of fires are burning right now, some of them out of control. But Arizona is seeing the worst of it with a half million acres already burned.

Argentina's largest lake is filling with ash, it's coming from a volcano in Chile, which has caused headaches for air travelers from South America to Australia. The cone has been spewing clouds of ash more than six miles high for more than a week. Authorities in Chile lifted an evacuation order this weekend for more than 4,000 people who live near the volcano. Geologists expect it to grow quiet over the next couple of weeks.

Sonic the Hedgehog has reason to be angry. Sega, the Japanese gaming company that made Sonic famous, is the largest victim of computer hackers -- or the latest, I should say. The data was stolen from -- some personal data from more than 1 million users on Friday. The information includes names, birth dates, e-mail addresses and passwords, but no credit card information, luckily. Sega says it is investigating the cyber crime.

A 22-year-old from Northern Ireland smashed the U.S. Open record today with a 16 under par, romping to an eight-shot victory. Rory McIlroy broke Tiger Woods's old record by four strokes and became the youngest winner of the Open since Bobby Jones in 1923. McIlroy closed with a two under 69 at the Congressional Country Club. Australian Jason Daye finished second. What a beautiful day there.

We'll have those stories, plus this for you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black history month. You see, Michelle, she celebrates the full month and, you know, I celebrate half.



LEMON: Tonight at 10:00, an Obama impersonator at the Republican Leadership Conference, in poor taste or all in good fun? We'll have a look at the controversy. I'll see you back here in just a few minutes at the top of the hour.




O'NEAL: How would I feel if my father were to, say, get sick or die even? Would I be OK? And I realized that I wouldn't be OK. So I knew I needed to make an effort, because what is your life without your family? What's your life without a father?


MORGAN: That was, of course, a moment from your series on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, "Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals." You've got a new book "Found: A Daughter's Journey Home," which of course it is.

O'NEAL: Thank you.

MORGAN: And part of this journey was that having had these problems with a man with a temper, your dad, you then decide to marry John McEnroe. Even as I say that, I want to laugh.

O'NEAL: Well, do you know how old I was when I married him?

MORGAN: Twenty-two.

O'NEAL: Exactly. So do you think I had like the full idea of what like I was doing in my life? Like I don't think that I...

MORGAN: This was a guy smashing rackets and shouting, "you cannot be serious!" I mean, get a clue.

O'NEAL: Very interesting man. Very interesting, talented legend. I was taken. I'm super proud of our kids. And I'm a really big fan of John's, actually, so.

MORGAN: How do you get on these days?

O'NEAL: We get on as well as a divorced couple who have three grown kids can. I mean, we are civil.

MORGAN: Do you talk regularly?

O'NEAL: No. Do you talk to your ex-wife regularly?

MORGAN: Every day.

O'NEAL: Well, we don't.

MORGAN: Really?

O'NEAL: No. But that's OK.

MORGAN: How often do you talk? Honestly.

O'NEAL: Well, he got mad recently. So not very often. I don't remember the last time. My daughter just got her tonsils out, so I texted him that day.

MORGAN: Last time you spoke six months ago? A year ago? Three years ago? Six years ago?

O'NEAL: Maybe two.

MORGAN: Two years ago?

O'NEAL: Yes.


O'NEAL: He's not really a fan of mine. I said I was a fan of his. He's not -- I don't think he sees addiction as a disease. I think he sees it as like a moral deficiency in a person. And so therefore, he's like -- you know, thinks that I really kind of went out of my way to kind of ruin my life and drop my children.

And that is not the case at all. I have a lot of regret, obviously, for all the choices that I've made. And I...

MORGAN: Whose decision was it to end the marriage?

O'NEAL: Mine.

MORGAN: How did he take that?

O'NEAL: Not well. At the same time, maybe it was too much for me. As Howard Stern said to me yesterday, maybe it was too much for me that I had had such a sort of volatile upbringing with my dad and to kind of get involved with a man who was maybe equally as volatile, but very different. Let's just make that real clear. Very different.

MORGAN: What's your love life like these days?

O'NEAL: Oh, I don't have any love life. I'm happy like that.


O'NEAL: Zero.

MORGAN: No man at all? Are you looking for a man?

O'NEAL: No, I'm really not.

MORGAN: You can't go the rest of your life without a man.

O'NEAL: I don't think I will. But I think right now, I'm very driven to kind of make up for lost time and get my...

MORGAN: What kind of man do you think now you ought to be with?

O'NEAL: Maybe a gentle, smart, loving person. Not to say that John wasn't those things, but maybe somebody who doesn't react.

MORGAN: Do you think you'll get married again? Would you like to?

O'NEAL: I think so.

MORGAN: Be a nice way to end all of this. Wouldn't it?

O'NEAL: Yes, I think so.

MORGAN: Well, good luck. It has been a pleasure meeting you, Tatum.

O'NEAL: Thank you, nice to meet you.

MORGAN: Thank you very much.

O'NEAL: You're welcome.

MORGAN: You've heard what Tatum O'Neal said about her father. On Monday night, Ryan O'Neal responds. It's quite extraordinary. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN O'NEAL, ACTOR: What kind of a man wouldn't be proud of someone who has made all of these sacrifices and all of this growth, and wants me to respect her, to love her.

MORGAN: Do you?

O'NEAL: Yes, I do. She's a beauty. She's a great beauty. And there are times in which she's magnificent, but she has made my life hard, hard, and Farrah's.


MORGAN: A sensational hour with Ryan O'Neal on Monday.