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Father of the Year

February 6, 2007

FORMER STAR EXPLAINS WHY HE SHOT AT HIS SON

Add another chapter to Ryan O’Neal’s inexplicably dramatic life.  The Love Story actor was charged with assault and negligent discharge of a firearm after fighting with his son, Griffin, at his Malibu home over the weekend.

O’Neal later told the LA Times he had fired his gun following a confrontation with his son who allegedly grazed him four or five times with a fireplace poker.  Griffin O’Neal was visiting his father and accompanied by his pregnant girlfriend JoAnne Berry, who suffered a poker-related injury in the scuffle. 

The elder O’Neal had been out with friends for the evening, celebrating a birthday (and reported victory over ass cancer) for his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett.  After an intial run in with Griffin and his poker, Ryan fled upstairs to retrieve his handgun.

“(Griffin) started to come up the stairs again with the poker in his hand. So I just fired it into the banister, and that scared him and he fled,” said O’Neal in his LA Times interview. 

The puffy actor has long been an advocate of tough love.  In 1983, police were called to his home following a fight in which he knocked out two of Griffin’s teeth.  No charges were filed.

Griffin made headlines in 1987 when he was tried for manslaughter in the death of Francis Ford Coppola’s son, Gian-Carlo, who was decapitated in a drunken speed boating accident. He admitted to drinking at the time of the accident and was found guilty of the lesser charge of reckless boating and fined $200 (about the same amount of money you would have to spend to purchase a case of a finer Coppola wine.) 

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