Well, this isn’t going to make your day any better; it pretty much made me want to throw up. Time to add another asshole celebrity to your ever-growing list.
In her about-to-be-released, second memoir Watch Me, Academy Award winning actress, Anjelica Huston claims onetime boyfriend, Ryan O’Neal viciously attacked and beat her at a Beverly Hills party circa the late 70s. Crossing a room, Huston stopped for a short period to avoid interrupting a belly-dancer who was in the middle of her act; the actress says for some reason, this action agitated O’Neal. When the two met up again, O’Neal went outside…
“He turned on me, grabbed me by the hair and hit me in the forehead with the top of his skull. I saw stars and reeled back. Half blind I ran away from him.”
Huston made it to a bathroom, followed by security and Ryan O’Neal’s brother, who allegedly witnessed the beating. The actress claims O’Neal returned and was “batting her about the head with an open hand. Then he left.”
If you’re wondering why Huston didn’t report the assault (she did break-up with O’Neal, who has also been accused of physical abuse by his daughter Tatum, and son Griffin), I’d venture to guess rampant drug usage may have had some influence? In Watch Me (which sounds like a threat to someone, no?) the actress also speaks out for the first time about the night of the Polanski rape, which took place at Huston’s longtime boyfriend (to whom she’d returned after the O’Neal incident), Jack Nicholson:
“”He introduced me to her [Samantha Gailey] and said they had been taking pictures … I thought no more of it.”
That quote is interesting (and disturbing), because according to Gailey (now Geimer), Huston had nearly stopped the attack, “hammering on the door,” out of concern for the girl, then being reassured that Polanski was just taking photos. The day following the rape, Polanski returned to Nicholson’s house — at the time, Huston was staying there — with the LAPD, who told Huston she’d better show them the drugs or they’d rip up the place searching. After going through the actress’ purse and finding a “gram of cocaine,” both Huston and Polanski were arrested and separately taken to the station. Huston noted that while they were being booked, Polanski apologized to her.
Honestly, I’m so horrified, I almost don’t know what to say. I’m sure there are those who think, “Why even bother talking about this now?” Violence against women has been going on so long, sometimes it feels like we’ve become desensitized. But no, I can assure not all of us have. However long ago this happened, twenty minutes or years, the idea of O’Neal smashing his head against Huston’s brings me near tears. While the statute of limitations may prevent any legal action, it’s still important for Huston to speak out about the abuse. You’ll have to decide if it matters to you.
As for Huston’s out-of-context, seemingly cavalier quote about meeting (then) 13-year-old Gailey, I’m not sure what to make of it yet. It could be as simple as the two women having different impressions of the same situation, or it could be the usual — Hollywood covering for its own.