Saturday, 19 July 2014

John McEnroe & A Dynasty Cursed by Drugs

 Bar scene: Kevin with his mother Tatum at an event in 2008. Those who know him painted a picture yesterday of an entitled young man who had drifted into a life of hard partying

Kevin McEnroe, the 27-year-old son of tennis champion John McEnroe and Hollywood star Tatum O’Neal, was arrested just a few streets away from the spot where his mother was caught buying crack cocaine from a vagrant six years ago.

Those who know Kevin McEnroe painted a picture  of an entitled young man who had drifted into a life of hard partying. 

Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where he socialises — and where his mother once lived — has a notorious drugs scene once enjoyed to the full by the pop star Lady Gaga, another colourful former resident.

After attending a prestigious £26,000-a-year private school and a small, private university, Kevin McEnroe moved to fashionable Brooklyn. 

He paid more than £560,000 for a small house, where neighbours complained about his slovenly habits, drunken behaviour and noisy rows with his girlfriends.

The tale of a spoilt rich kid gone to pot (literally) will sound depressingly familiar to anyone with even vague notion of McEnroe’s dishevelled family tree.

For mother and son are not the only ones in the tribe who have had a problem with hard drugs.

Tatum’s actor father, Ryan O’Neal, has four children, but only one — Patrick, a sports TV presenter — has never had issues with drugs and the law. 

Root of the problem: Tatum's father Ryan O'Neal - on whom she blames her issues - with Farrah Fawcett

His eldest son, Griffin (he and Tatum are from Ryan’s marriage to the actress Joanna Moore) recently served a 16-month prison sentence for a drugs-related car crash in 2011. He had cocaine, tranquillisers and amphetamines in his system at the time.

Meanwhile, Redmond O’Neal, his youngest son — with the star Farrah Fawcett, has already notched up a string of drug offences. 

He and his father were arrested in 2008 after police found methamphetamine — ‘crystal meth’ — at the actor’s Malibu home during a probation check on Redmond.

As for Tatum, her delightful, Oscar-winning performance alongside her father as a child con artist in the 1974 film Paper Moon was a rare highpoint in a very troubled life. She has claimed to have battled drug addiction since she was 14.

In her astonishing 2004 autobiography, A Paper Life, Tatum claimed that alcohol and drug abuse were in her DNA. 

Tatum’s reliance on drugs did not stop after she met the ‘superbrat’ tennis sensation John McEnroe in the early Eighties. 

She says she took drugs heavily during their eight-year marriage, depicting the Wimbledon winner as controlling and abusive.

She wrote: ‘Like many people in  the Eighties, when coke was a staple at parties, John kept drugs around for hospitality, I guess, like having a wine cellar.’

McEnroe has admitted taking cocaine, but insisted he didn’t take so much that it affected his game. 

In his own 2002 autobiography, the tennis player rejected claims that he ever hit Tatum, and portrayed her as a temperamental drug abuser. 

Certainly, when the couple divorced, her drug problems were considered so serious that McEnroe was given full custody of their children.

In June 2008, police saw Tatum buying what turned out to be two bags of cocaine and crack cocaine from a tramp in a street near her Lower East Side home. Police sources said she initially asked the approaching officers ‘Do you know who I am?’, and claimed she was buying drugs to research for a screen role.

O’Neal, who was carrying a crack pipe to smoke drugs with, later changed her story. 

She insisted she had been ‘clean’ for two years, but was depressed by the death of her dog. She later admitted disorderly conduct, and agreed to spend two days at a drug treatment programme.

 Troubled family: John McEnroe with sons Sean, right, and Kevin in 2004. Farrah says she took drugs heavily during their eight-year marriage, depicting the Wimbledon winner as controlling and abusive

Culled From DailyMail

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