Ryan O'Neal accused of assaulting his son

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The Independent US

Authorities have accused Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O'Neal of assaulting his adult son over the weekend.

Deputies and paramedics were called to O'Neal's Malibu, California home at 12.30am Saturday "regarding a battery that had occurred," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lieutenant. John Benedict said yesterday.

"Deputies determined ... Griffin O'Neal, his son, had been assaulted by his father," Benedict said.

Ryan O'Neal, 65, was arrested and accused of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm. He was released on a 50,000 dollar (£25,000) bond.

Benedict could provide no details on what caused the dispute. No one was treated for injuries.

O'Neal's manager, Neil Hassman, claimed the actor was defending himself after his son began "wildly swinging a fireplace poker." The dispute came after O'Neal, actress Farrah Fawcett and some friends returned from dinner to celebrate her birthday, Hassman said.

"It is unfortunate that what should have been an internal family disagreement was escalated to the point that Ryan felt he had to defend himself from Griffin's aggressive, extremely menacing physical behaviour," Hassman said in a statement to "The Insider."

Griffin O'Neal's pregnant girlfriend was slightly injured in the incident, treated at a hospital and released, Hassman said. He maintained that her injuries were caused by the younger O'Neal.

Twice-divorced Ryan O'Neal, known for his boyish good looks, went from a TV soap opera to an Oscar-nominated role in "Love Story." He also appeared in films including "Paper Moon," "Barry Lyndon," "Green Ice" and "Zero Effect."

O'Neal had two children with his first wife, Joanna Moore: actor Griffin O'Neal and actress Tatum O'Neal, his co-star in the 1973 movie "Paper Moon," for which she won an Oscar for best supporting actress.

He was romantically involved with Farrah Fawcett for years. They never married but had one son, Redmond.

Griffin O'Neal, 42, was given an 18-day jail sentence for not performing 400 hours of community service ordered by the judge who found him guilty of reckless boating in the 1986 accident that killed Gian-Carlo Coppola, the son of director Francis Ford Coppola.

Griffin O'Neal also pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge in 1989 and was sentenced to probation. In 1992, he pleaded no contest to charges he shot at his estranged girlfriend's unoccupied car. At the time, he agreed to spend a year in a live-in drug rehabilitation programme and serve five years on probation.