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Archive for Thursday, February 8, 2007

People in the news

February 8, 2007

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Attorneys point fingers in O'Neil family feud

Los Angeles - A battle between Ryan O'Neal and his son Griffin that led to the actor's arrest at his Malibu home last weekend turned into a war of words in law offices Wednesday as their attorneys each charged that the other side was responsible for the fight in which a fireplace poker was swung and a gun fired.

Griffin O'Neal, 42, and his pregnant girlfriend, Joanna Berry, who had bandages around a bruised and swollen left eye, appeared but did not speak at a press conference by attorney Gloria Allred.

"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 in a prepared statement.

The actor's attorney, Mark Werksman, countered quickly.

"Ryan O'Neal is the victim and was attacked by his own son, with his own poker," said Werksman, who noted his client had a cut on his hand and bruises on his arms and legs as a result of the dispute.

Werksman said O'Neal's other son, Redmond, was in the house at the time and the fight occurred over how Griffin has treated Redmond. Werksman said Redmond is currently in drug treatment.

Berry, who is expecting a baby boy at the end of March, suffered facial lacerations that took eight stitches to close, as well as head trauma and a corneal abrasion during the confrontation, Allred said.

Ryan O'Neal, who was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm, has said he fired a "warning shot" to scare his son away after he came at him with the poker. He said his son struck Berry, 25, with the poker when he ducked during the fight.

Miss USA promotes Trump

Wantagh, N.Y. - It was probably not the day at the beach that Miss USA Tara Conner had in mind.

With winds whipping on a frigid February afternoon, the 21-year-old Conner was at Jones Beach on Tuesday, doing a photo shoot to promote Donald Trump's $40 million planned catering facility, Trump on the Ocean.

Trump told Newsday in Wednesday's editions that using Conner as "the face" of Trump on the Ocean will help revamp her image. She recently completed a stint in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center after nearly lost her crown for hard-partying in New York nightclubs.

"We are trying to get Tara in the mainstream in a positive way," he said.

'Most Wanted' host disputes Dahmer link to son's killing

Miami - The host of "America's Most Wanted" said he's seen no evidence linking his son's unsolved kidnapping and slaying to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, despite a recent report laying out a possible connection.

Theories of a Dahmer tie to the 1981 killing of John Walsh's 6-year-old son Adam date back years but resurfaced with a report in the Daily Business Review, a Miami publication.

"America's Most Wanted" issued a news release Tuesday saying its producers and investigators have long been aware of the rumors but that no credible information has emerged. Walsh believes another serial killer, Ottis Toole, killed his son.

Arthur Jay Harris, who wrote the Daily Business Review story in December, has written three true crime books - including an unpublished one on Adam's killing that he is trying to sell.

Harris says a review of the 7,000-page case file shows two men claimed to have seen a man who looked like Dahmer at the mall where Adam was abducted during a shopping trip with his mother. One of the men said he saw the Dahmer look-alike carrying a struggling boy into a blue van.

Adam's head was found 100 miles away in a Vero Beach canal.

The witnesses told police they recognized Dahmer's photo after he was arrested in Wisconsin in 1992. Dahmer lived in South Florida at the time of Adam's slaying and reportedly had access to a blue van.

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