While Tatum O’Neal has endured her share of tough times — including a bitter divorce from tennis champ John McEnroe and public battles with addiction and her movie star dad, Ryan O’Neal — she tells Closer Weekly, in an exclusive interview, that she is excited about her life now. Tatum is starring in the new film God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness and enjoys being “a devoted mom” to her kids, Kevin, 31, Sean, 30, and Emily, 26.

As they’ve gotten older, their relationship has “changed for the better,” Tatum, 54, reveals to Closer. “I think we have a lot in common now, and you become more like comrades. I have a lot of joy in my life.” While her relationship with her kids has improved, her relationship with ex John has remained “complicated.” Tatum tells Closer, “I was the one who left the marriage, and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen John mad, but he doesn’t jump back to being happy quickly.”

tatum o'neal and john mcenroe getty images

Tatum and John.

She adds, “All these years later, there might be a chance. I keep pushing to see if we can have a better understanding and more respectful dialogue for the kids’ sake. That has not been easy,”
As for her relationship with her dad, Ryan O’Neal? “I think he’s still really mad at me, as well — I’m not quite sure why,” she shares with Closer. “Some people just stay mad and all you can do is try to take care of your side of the street.”

Despite things not always being perfect, Tatum refuses to give up. “I had a number of rock bottoms. I never wanted to stay in it because of the love I had for my children.” And when she needs to, she tells Closer she leans on a couple close friends, her therapist and of course, her children, for support. “I feel like I’m more grounded now and know myself better. It just took me so long to figure things out. I just wish I knew then what I know now.”

For more on Tatum O’Neal, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!