The movie veteran and his estranged daughter have reconciled and are working on their fractured relationship – but O’Neal will never forgive Tatum for telling the press her father tried to hit on her at the funeral of his longtime love in 2009.
In an emotionally-charged interview with CNN newsman Piers Morgan, which aired in America on Monday night (20Jun11), the actor insisted he was recalling a magical moment from his daughter’s childhood when he asked her, “Do you have a drink, do you have a car?” – and she took it the wrong way.
He told Morgan, “When she was a little girl we used to dance and I would say to her, ‘Do you have a drink, do you have a car?’ and she would say, ‘My boyfriend’s here’… We did this a lot.
“So when she came into my arms (at the funeral) and I had put the casket in the hearse…, I said to her, ‘Do you have a drink, do you have a car?’ – because that was our thing and I wanted to tell her that I had never forgotten what touched us.”
Fighting back tears, the actor said he was appalled when his daughter told reporters her father didn’t know who she was at the funeral.
He adds, “Instead of saving me, she let me drown – making me look like I’m trying to make out with someone while my girl is being driven away. Why? Why do you wanna make your dad look like that.”