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Published:June 2nd, 2008 18:43 EST

Tatum O'Neil Arrested for Buying Crack Cocaine

By Robert Paul Reyes

On celluloid, Tatum O` Neal will forever be the cute 10-year-old miniature con artist in "Paper Moon."

In real life, the now 44-year-old actress is still battling a life-long addiction to drugs.

Once again Tatum`s drug addiction has brought her shame and humiliation:

"Oscar-winning actress Tatum O` Neal, the former child star who chronicled her struggles with addiction in a 2004 memoir, has been arrested on suspicion of buying drugs on the streets of New York City.

The Daily News, citing unnamed police sources, reported that O` Neal first told police she was `doing research for a part` and changed her story after police searched her and found a bag of crack, a bag of regular cocaine and an unused crack pipe."

Quotation from Reuters

By the way, to get into the proper frame of mind to write a story about an actress addicted to drugs, I smoked a joint. (Just kidding.)

I separate an actor`s personal life from his work on the silver screen. I can watch "Paper Moon" on a cable TV channel and marvel at the precocious Tatum, without thinking, "Dang, she`s nothing but a junkie in real life."

We are all struggling with our own demons, who are we to judge anyone else? Michael Jackson`s weird personal life doesn`t prevent me from enjoying his "Thriller" album.

I`m not famous and my personal life hasn`t been dissected by the press, but if the skeletons in my closet made the news, it shouldn`t make a difference in how readers respond to my essays. My articles should be judged on their own merits, and my frailties and weakness shouldn`t detract from my work.

Unfortunately, Tatum`s career went nowhere after "Paper Moon," but I will always be grateful for that one great performance. I wish Tatum all the luck in the world in fighting her addiction to drugs.