John McEnroe is well-known for his tantrums. Many people weren’t surprised that his divorce from actress Tatum O’Neal was so messy. With all the issues the couple had, it’s also no surprise to find out they’re both still discussing the divorce in the media. However, they’re saying quite different things.
John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal’s divorce
After 6 years of marriage, reports People, O’Neal and McEnroe split in 1992 and the divorce in 1994 was dramatic. There were accusations of drug abuse. Following the divorce, O’Neal lost custody of their children due to her heroin addiction. Eventually, she got clean, but the damage was done. The divorce was highly publicized due to the claims of drug use, violent tempers, and escalating fights, especially about the kids.
More recently, the former couple’s frostiness thawed slightly as their child, Kevin, celebrated an achievement. For years, O’Neal and McEnroe barely spoke. But at Kevin’s reading, O’Neal reported that McEnroe was nice to her and he was able to speak to her.
Kevin discussed his childhood with the explosive pair. He said his parents didn’t speak much unless they spoke separately. All the children loved their parents equally and separately, despite their struggles. Kevin did note that McEnroe ensured the children had a relationship with O’Neal, despite her many trips to rehab.
A quieter O’Neal
O’Neal reportedly misses her ex-husband. She’s stated that she was happiest when she was married to McEnroe. In fact, she expressed regret for the divorce but acknowledges she must live with the decision.
When directly asked if ending the marriage was the right decision, O’Neal stated that it may not have been. She said she was loved, further noting that no one had ever come close to McEnroe. On the other hand, McEnroe has been remarried to Patty Smyth since 1997. O’Neal acknowledged this, stating that his happiness is important.
A still-explosive McEnroe
McEnroe, while notably more polite to O’Neal, still has an explosive temper. Despite decades passing since the divorce, he slammed his ex-father-in-law, according to Fox News, after being asked about the best and worst part of having Ryan O’Neal as a father-in-law. According to McEnroe, there was no best part and that O’Neal was ‘heinous.’
The former tennis star clarified further. He stated that O’Neal was charming and calm through marijuana use, but that it was difficult and, as a result, his (O’Neal’s) kids and grandkids were impacted. According to Tatum O’Neal, her father was abusive, which contributed to her struggle with drugs.
McEnroe also noted that Farrah Fawcett — O’Neal’s ex — was his pseudo-mother-in-law and she was “ugly.” However, he did pause before giving this assessment, further clarifying she was very intense. Part of the problem, according to McEnroe, was that O’Neal rubbed off on her.
Further, it was noted that little was said by McEnroe about his ex-wife, Tatum O’Neal. The things he said appeared to be more defensive in nature in relation to her father and the impact he had on her during her childhood. However, there’s no love lost between McEnroe and O’Neal but both seem more mature and respectful — mostly.