Here's one Hollywood family feud that appears destined to play out in an L.A. courtroom.
Ryan O'Neal was arrested at his Malibu home early Saturday on charges of assaulting his 42-year-old son, sometime actor Griffin, in a skirmish that resulted in a gunshot and his son's pregnant girlfriend being taken to the hospital.
It's unclear exactly what sparked the dispute, but just after 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies arrived at the 65-year-old's home and arrested the Oscar-nominated Love Story star on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm.
Lieutenant John Benedict said that officers reached the estate after responding to a call "regarding a battery that had occurred."
According to Benedict, deputies quickly determined that Griffin O'Neal "had been assaulted by his father." The sheriff's department confirmed that a shot was fired in the dispute.
Paramedics were also called to the scene and treated Griffin's 22-year-old companion, JoAnne Berry. Neither the cause nor the extent of her injuries is known.
The elder O'Neal was subsequently booked at the Lost Hills station—the site of Mel Gibson's infamous booking—where he remained for fewer than five hours. At 5:30 a.m. the actor was released after posting $50,000 bond.
Ryan O'Neal is chalking up the incident to an act of self-defense. His manager, Neil Hassman, denied any and all wrongdoing, saying the actor was simply defending himself against his son, who escalated an argument by "wildly swinging a fireplace poker."
"It is unfortunate that what should have been an internal family disagreement was escalated to the point that Ryan felt he had to defend himself from Griffin's aggressive, extremely menacing physical behavior in the way that he did," Hassman said in a statement.
"The injury to Griffin's girlfriend was caused by Griffin himself and not Ryan, as has been alleged by Griffin. Of late, Ryan has extended himself so far as to insure the young lady and her unborn child," the rep continued.
"As this is now an open case, Ryan cannot comment any further, but certainly believes he will be completely vindicated after a thorough investigation."
Griffin O'Neal, whose minor-league acting credits include Assault of the Killer Bimbos, Ghoulies III and most recently per IMDb, a 1992 flick called Soulmates, himself has a checkered past.
The son of Ryan O'Neal and his first wife, Joanna Moore, and brother of Oscar winner Tatum O'Neal received an 18-day jail sentence in 1986 after being found guilty of reckless boating in the fatal water accident that resulted in the death of Gian-Carlo Coppola, the son of director Francis Ford Coppola. Griffin O'Neal, then 21, was locked up after he failed to complete the 400 hours of community service originally stipulated under his sentence.
In 1989, he pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge and received probation. In 1992, he again pleaded no contest after firing a shot at his girlfriend's car. No one was in the vehicle at the time. He agreed to undergo a yearlong rehab program and served five years of probation.
Ryan O'Neal had most recently made headlines for his well-documented support of former flame Farrah Fawcett during her battle with cancer. His arrest came just one day after the Charlie's Angels star announced she had been given a clean bill of health.
Unlike his son, the elder O'Neal's acting career remains active, with guest appearances on Bones (he was back on the set Monday, according to Fox) and Desperate Housewives. His most recent movie role came, ironically enough, courtesy of the 2003 big-screen comedy Malibu's Most Wanted.