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Why did Farrah Fawcett’s son Redmond O’Neal go to jail and where is he now?

The unfortunate dark side of growing up the child of Hollywood's biggest celebrities.

Ryan O'Neal Redmond O'Neal Farrah Fawcet
Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage/Toby Canham/Getty Images

The children of celebrities are given a mixed bag in life. On the one hand, their parent’s wealth and fame can open doors that might be closed for others. On the other hand, they are thrust into a spotlight they didn’t ask for and forced to cope with all that comes with it — or face the consequences.

Jaden and Willow Smith, for example, have been able to navigate their parents’ stardom relatively unscathed. Tracee Ellis Ross took her mother’s fame and used it as inspiration for her own acting career. Blue Ivy Carter makes her mom’s stage her own, taking over concerts to perform for her doting fans.

While there are definitely examples, such as the ones aforementioned, of children who are able to make it through their parent’s fame and use it to their benefit, there are others who struggle more with it. Redmond O’Neal is one example of one that had a much more difficult time.

Redmond O’Neal’s troubled childhood

Ryan O'Neal and Redmond O'Neal are standing and posing for a picture.
Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Born on Jan. 30, 1985, to parents Farrah Fawcett and Oscar-nominated actor, Ryan O’Neal, Redmond O’Neal was born into a tumultuous childhood. It was neither an easy nor idyllic one as his parents’ relationship was regularly volatile. His father, O’Neal, regularly used drugs and his mother, Fawcett, would often drink to cope with her problems in Hollywood.

Once, Ryan O’Neal even shot at Redmon’s half-brother Griffin, purposely missing yet adding to a backlog of traumatic memories for Redmond and his family. Regrettably, Redmond learned bad habits from his parents and has an arrest record to prove it. He was arrested in 2008 for a DUI and drug possession. In 2011, he was arrested for heroin possession and in 2015, he violated his probation and was sentenced to three years in jail, eventually being released in 2016.

Redmond often blamed his disorderly childhood for his crimes and addictions. In an interview with RadarOnline, he even said the mere reality of having celebrity parents put an unfair burden on his shoulders:

“It’s not the drugs that have been a problem, it’s the psychological trauma of my entire life — my whole life experiences have affected me the most. Fighting with my father, being kicked out and living on the streets, going to jail, being put in a psychiatric ward, being embarrassed all the time, just because of who my parents are. The pressure that came with that set off a time-bomb in my head. I never asked for any of this, I never wanted any attention.”

Redmond’s bad behavior caught up with him in 2018. That year, he robbed a 7-Eleven and when he was detained for that crime, it was discovered Redmond was also involved in a spree of attacks in the Palms and Venice Beach areas, in which he stabbed a number of random people.

Five people were attacked, two of which were seriously injured.  The LAPD spoke to US Weekly about the 7-Eleven robbery, saying:

“The suspect entered the store with a knife and approached the clerk and demanded money from the register. The suspect fled store on foot … officers found the knife and cash in [O’Neal’s] possession.”

Redmond was arrested on May 8, 2018, and charged with one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of criminal threats, one count of brandishing a knife, and one count of battery.  

In October of 2019, Redmond was ruled mentally “incompetent” to stand trial by a commissioner. He was transferred from the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles to the California Department of State Hospitals Metropolitan location in Norwalk, California, in December of 2019. Redmond was diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and antisocial personality disorder.

Where is Redmond O’Neal today?

Redmond is sitting with his mother and father at an awards dinner.
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation

There have been scant details of Redmond’s life after he was admitted to the state psychiatric hospital in 2019 for his mental illness. As of this writing, he is still a patient and, according to RadarOnline, has no interest in speaking to his father.

Ryan O’Neal — who is suffering from chronic leukemia, diabetes, and heart problems — reportedly fears he will pass away soon and worries he will never get the chance to make amends with his son if or when he is released.

Although Redmond will not stand criminal trial for the deeds that landed him in jail, two of his stabbing victims are pursuing civil lawsuits, both of which remain in development.

Shannon Cudd
About the author

Shannon Cudd

Shannon is a passionate writer and actor from sunny Southern California with a degree in Theater from Chapman University who believes in the power of storytelling to make this world a better place. Beyond being a freelance writer for WGTC her byline has appeared in the OC Register, KnockLA, LittleThings, Inside Hook, and more. Her love of all things nerdy is fueled by decaf Earl Gray Tea. Follow her on social media @MsShannonCudd or check out her website at www.ShannonCudd.com