Proving that it’s never too late to be true to yourself, even for a precocious former child star, Tatum O’Neal has announced that she’s now dating women.
“I like women,” O’Neal tells People magazine. “I definitely have been dating mostly women recently.” The now 51-year-old actress avoids labeling her orientation and only says, “I’m not one or the other.”
She does, however, note that she currently prefers the company of females. “I think women are the most amazing creatures on earth,” she says. “They’re gentle, and also more intelligent than the men that I’ve met recently. I don’t have a steady right now, but I look forward to it.”
O’Neal won immense fame and an Academy Award as best supporting actress for her film debut in the 1973 comedy Paper Moon, in which she costarred with her father Ryan as a pair of Depression-era con artists. She soon garnered a reputation as Hollywood’s premiere wild child, hitting nightclubs with Cher and Michael Jackson before she was old enough to legally drink. In her 2004 memoir A Paper Life, O’Neal chronicled her rocky relationship with her famous father, her turbulent marriage to tennis champ John McEnroe and her long battle with drug addiction and revealed that she was molested by her father’s drug dealer when she was 12.
Among O’Neal’s other notable professional credits are a memorable episode of Sex and the City, the 1976 little league baseball comedy The Bad News Bears and the raunchy summer camp comedy Little Darlings. Kristy McNichol, who costarred with O’Neal in the latter 1980 hit, came out as lesbian in 2012.
Watch O’Neal’s character Addie pull a fast one on a cashier in Paper Moon below.