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Ryan O'Neal Opens Up About Family Tragedies

May 13 2009, Published 3:15 p.m. ET

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Ryan O'Neal, beleaguered by the sickness of his longtime love Farrah Fawcett, as well as son Redmond's on-going problems, told The Today Show Wednesday that he advised his son to live his life as a tribute to Fawcett.

"I don’t think his mother will be here when he gets out," O’Neal said, noting that Redmond was shackled during a recent court-approved visit he made to his ailing mother's bedside.

The 69-year-old actor said that incarceration is likely the only thing that could help his red-headed child escape his severe drug addiction.

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"He’s in jail so much," O’Neal said of his son. "Poor jerk -- that’s almost ridiculous. He can’t make heads or tails of who he is or what he’s doing here. And heroin helped him -- yes, it’s a horrible thing -- not to think about it. And he couldn’t shake it, just couldn’t shake it. And so, it’s going to get shaken for him. He has a long ride ah ead of him before they’ll set him free."

O'Neal told host Meredith Vieira that his feelings for the former poster girl have only deepened in the face of her battle with anal cancer.

"In the last two years," he said, "I loved her more than I’ve ever loved her -- ever."

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