06/28/2009 11:14 PM | Los Angeles Times-Washington Post
In 1979, when Farrah's husband Lee Majors left to go on location, he asked his close friend Ryan O'Neal, a legendary Hollywood lothario, to take care of her.
O'Neal certainly did so. Thirteen hours after Majors' departure, he was in bed with Fawcett and they kissed - to use her own words- "until our lips bled".
It was the start of an affair that was to become the stuff of legend. Fawcett left Majors, divorcing him in 1982, after moving in with O'Neal. She gave birth to their son three years later.
The domestic dramas did not disappear, however. Fawcett left the Love Story star when Redmond was barely two, only to return and, from then on, routinely run to the other end of their beach side mansion in Malibu to escape her partner's rages.
Indeed, by the end, Fawcett's life had descended into soap opera - not least in her relationships with men, and notably O'Neal, who was at her bedside when she died, together with their 24-year-old son, Redmond.
The truth is that her years were fraught with drama - and domestic violence. O'Neal's actress daughter Tatum maintained that her 1.85 metre tall father beat Fawcett repeatedly during their turbulent relationship.
"Farrah was innocent," she maintained. "Dad was a Svengali for her. He took over her life, but there was a price. He had a terrible temper and was very violent."
For her part, Fawcett would only admit: "Ryan was a physical person. He was a bully, but I was never afraid of him."