Ryan O'Neal says his weekend arrest came after he fired a gun in self-defense to prevent his son from whacking him with a fireplace poker.
The actor told the Los Angeles Times that he arrived at his home Saturday night in Malibu, Calif., after celebrating with a group of friends, including his former girlfriend Farrah Fawcett. They had been celebrating Fawcett's 60th birthday and that she is cancer-free after four months of treatment.
O'Neal's son Griffin, 42, who has a history of alcohol and drug problems, was visiting the Malibu house. O'Neal said Griffin grabbed a fireplace poker and started swinging it, grazing him four or five times.
He "aimed at my head, I ducked, he hit his own girlfriend in the head," O'Neal, 65, told the newspaper.
"I got a little nervous at that point and fled to my room ... and I got my gun," he said.
O'Neal said his son began to come up the stairs with the poker. "So I just fired it into the banister, and that scared him and he fled," he said.
Sheriff's deputies arrested O'Neal for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm. He was released on a $50,000 bond.