When I hear the name mentioned, Tatum O’Neal, I think back to 1980 of a little girl playing the role of Ferris Whitney in the movie ‘Little Darlings’ along with Kristy McNichol and Matt Dillon. O’Neal is better known for becoming the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award when she snagged a Best Supporting Actress trophy for playing opposite her dad Ryan O’Neal in 1973’s Paper Moon.

Apparently the child star had led a rough life in the world of drugs. She was arrested outside her New York City Apartment after she allegedly purchased crack cocaine Sunday night. 

NYPD spokesman Mike Wysokowski said O’Neal was taken into custody around 7:30 p.m. in what was described as a routine drug sweep after cops witnessed her giving money to a street dealer three blocks from her East Broadway apartment on the Lower East Side. Police report that two bags were found on O’Neal, one with crack cocaine and the other was regular cocaine. Also found on her was an unused crackpipe.

When the detectives approached her, she reportedly asked them, “You know who I am, right?” O’Neal tried telling the officers that she only had the drugs as part of research she was doing for an upcoming part and then she begged them to give her a break. “I’ve been clean for a long time. Today was the first time I was relapsing, but you guys saved me! Can you let me go?” O’Neal was quoted as saying.

The 44 year old actress and mother of three can’t seem to escape her drug addiction. Her whole life has been influenced by physical and emotional abuse, depression and drug abuse. Her mother, Joanna Moore, was an alcoholic and an amphetamines addict. She seemed to have started cleaning herself up when she married tennis player John McEnroe but when they divorced in 1992 O’Neal apparently went back to her old habits with the drugs.

O’Neal was booked and charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance which is a misdemeanor. Allan Garcia, 32, who was providing O’Neal with the substance, was also charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, which is a class B felony.

Jan Barrett

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