Redmond O'Neal avoids jail, gets drug court program

Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:45pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Redmond O'Neal, the son of actors Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal, was admitted to a drug court program on Thursday that should keep him out of jail while his mother struggles with her second bout of cancer.

Redmond O'Neal, 24, was told by court officials he had "an opportunity to change your life" by entering the program in Los Angeles. It lasts for at least a year and involves frequent drug tests, counseling and court appearances.

In the past 12 months, O'Neal has been arrested on several occasions for possession of heroin, methamphetamines and driving under the influence of drugs.

Earlier his month, he was arrested again outside a jail on a heroin possession charge while he was free on bail for a previous drug conviction.

That arrest coincided with the hospitalization of Fawcett, 62, for bleeding after returning to Los Angeles from a medical procedure in Germany.

The former "Charlie's Angels" star was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006 and the disease returned in 2007. Redmond, Fawcett's son with her former longtime boyfriend Ryan O'Neal, was allowed out of jail briefly this week to visit his ailing mother.

Ryan O'Neal, who is best known for the 1970 film "Love Story", pleaded guilty in January to possession of methamphetamines found in the bedroom of his Malibu home.

If Redmond O'Neal successfully completes the drug court program, any open drug cases against him will be dropped. If he is kicked out, he will faces a jail term, court officials said.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Sandra Maler)