Ryan and Griffin O'Neal already battled it out. Now. it's their lawyers' turns.
Legal teams for the warring father and son held dueling press conferences around Los Angeles Wednesday, offering different takes on what led up to a weekend brawl that resulted the elder O'Neal's arrest and sent the younger O'Neal's pregnant girlfriend to the hospital.
Griffin, 42, was the first O'Neal to lawyer up, appearing, though not speaking, at a news conference alongside camera-ready attorney Gloria Allred and his 22-year-old girlfriend, JoAnna Berry.
Allred maintained that it was the Love Story thesp, not Griffin, who was responsible for Berry's injuries, which allegedly included a corneal abrasion, blunt head trauma, fractured bone and facial lacerations. Berry, who also remained mum, appeared in front of reporters with a bandaged and bruised left eye.
Per a 911 recording released earlier this week between the California Highway Patrol and the Malibu Sheriff's station, the woman was struck in the eye and treated for unspecified injuries. Allred claims that Berry required eight stitches to recover from the bashing.
Allred also shot down claims made by Ryan O'Neal in the wake of his Saturday arrest—and repeated Wednesday—that he did nothing wrong and simply fired off a warning shot after his son lunged at him with a fireplace poker.
"We vigorously reject any assertion that the injuries suffered by JoAnna and Griffin were as a result of Ryan O'Neal's acting in self defense," Allred said.
Ryan O'Neal was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm and released on $50,000 bond. Prosecutors are reviewing the case and have not yet filed charges.
Allred, who is representing both Berry (who's expecting a baby boy in March) and the younger O'Neal, said her clients would be willing to testify in a criminal case. Allred didn't mention whether she would file a civil action on behalf of her clients.
Less than two hours later, Ryan O'Neal's lawyer, Mark Werksman, gathered the press corps and painted a completely different picture of the events leading up to the fracas, saying it was Griffin who picked the fight and Ryan who "got the worst of it."
Werksman claimed the 65-year-old actor returned to his Malibu home after celebrating both Farrah Fawcett's 60th birthday and her all-clear cancer diagnosis, to find his son and Berry at the beachfront estate along with his youngest son, 22-year-old Redmond O'Neal.
Werksman said Ryan confronted Griffin for allegedly mistreating Redmond, though in what capacity he would not say. Redmond has since checked into treatment for a drug addiction. (Werksman would not confirm a National Enquirer story that claimed Griffin had tied up Redmond to prevent his younger brother from getting drugs.)
The attorney claimed that Griffin—who pleaded no contest to drunken-driving charges in 1989 and in 1992 spent a year in a live-in rehab center to battle a drug addiction of his own—had consumed alcohol prior to his father's arrival, which likely "contributed to his violent outburst."
More than simply swiping at his father with the fireplace poker, as was initially reported, Werksman claims that Griffin attacked his father with the object, saying Ryan was "thrown to the ground and beaten."
"While swinging at Ryan's head, Griffin hit his own pregnant girlfriend in the face," Werksman said. "Ryan escaped to his bedroom where he armed himself in self-defense, and when Griffin pursued him, he fired a shot."
According to Werksman, the elder O'Neal suffered bruises on his arms and legs.
Ryan O'Neal, who has been shooting a guest spot on Fox's Bones, did not attend the press conference.
Werksman said that the onetime Oscar nominee did not, contrary to Allred's claims, fire the shot in anger, adding, "Ryan will be completely vindicated and exonerated."