I love me some Tatum O’Neal, who’s a real show biz survivor and one of the city’s spunkiest personalities evah. I worship her feisity performances, even if Peter Bogdanovich claims he told her how to say every line in Paper Moon. And I adored her spine-chilling memoir so much I read it in one sitting (well, standing) at a tony bookstore in the Hamptons. But I’m extremely sorry that, like so very many ex-child stars, Tatum still feels the need to do tired old crack cocaine, which is better left to the kids! And I’m even more disturbed by the fact that, when caught by the coppers, she supposedly resorted to that more-worn-out-than-my-fleshlight “I’m just researching a role” excuse!
First of all, Tatum has already had ample rehearsal on this subject! For years! Why would she suddenly need to learn what it’s like to do drugs? Secondly (except for Pete Townshend, mysteriously enough), researching a project doesn’t automatically make your behavior any less illegal. If it did, we would have been graced with iron-clad alibis like:
OJ: “I was in talks to play a steroidal killer/beheader and was just doing research. I always do my homework!”
Phil Spector: “I was simply doing the groundwork for a biography about someone who shoots ladies in the mouth. And that person, by the way, is me!”
Hillary Clinton: “I’m merely doing the legwork for a book about what it would be like to slime my opponent, tear the party apart, and make things way easier for the Republicans!”
The Wachowskis: “We were dying to know what it’s like when people put out bloated action movies that bomb big-time, so we made one just to learn that feeling. But we didn’t think it would bomb THAT big-time.”
Update: My Tatum is addressing the problem head on and seeking help! Yay–no more excuses!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 3, 2008