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Police officers intervened before Tatum was able to ingest the cocaine, but she says she's still ashamed of her near relapse. "It's really unseemly. I have a lot of shame about it," she says. "I just can't tell you. For a woman my age to do that … it makes me kind of sick. I have to try to learn to forgive myself. I just think it's disgusting."

As handcuffs were placed around her wrists, she says she thought only of her children. "They have had to struggle and fight to keep it being okay to love their mother," she says. "I've really worked on that."

When 22-year-old Kevin, 20-year-old Sean and 17-year-old Emily heard their mother had been arrested, Tatum says they were embarrassed. "[But] I think the main thing about that was that they heard that I had been intervened on before I got home to do the drugs," she says. "I think that that is the savior, if you will. That was like the higher power moment or God intervening because all bets are off if I pick up that drug."

Tatum says if she'd been able to take a snort of cocaine, she doesn't know if she would have stopped there. "There's no saying where I would have ended up," she says. "It's not like it's I'll do it and it will be done, and Monday will come and I'll be back at the gym and everything will be fine. … It's like a disaster."
FROM: Tatum O'Neal Speaks Out About Her Drug Bust
Published on September 12, 2008


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