What a family. Tatum O’Neal recalls how important her children were to her while she was going through a rough patch.
The 56-year-old sat down with CBS Sunday Morning for an interview, and touched on the first couple of years married to tennis great John McEnroe, and her life as a young mom. “I was really ready to kind of fall down and, and not get back up. I was not myself,” the Oscar-winner said of her mindset during that time. “I was 22, and then the kids gave me kind of a real reason to keep going and fight. And still the happiest times of my life were the times … that I was married, funny enough. So, the most stable, the most loved, the most …”
The Paper Moon star tied the knot with John, 60, in 1986, before parting ways in 1994. The pair would have three kids — daughter Emily, 28, and sons Kevin, 33, and Sean, 32. Her eldest child also opened up and gushed about her famous mother.
“My mom is incredibly loving,” Emily said. “She’s childlike and has always been honest, like she said, fun-loving, just bright. My mom lights up every room that she enters. And that’s true.”
This isn’t the first time that Tatum has opened up about her personal life. “I had a number of rock bottoms. I never wanted to stay in it because of the love I had for my children,” she exclusively told Closer Weekly, adding that through the rough times she has found herself leaning on her kids, friends and her therapist. “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.”
Unfortunately, Tatum has also recently been dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. “Living with rheumatoid arthritis. A fall scratch scar on my right hip. And the back surgery scar from eight years ago,” the star wrote via Instagram on January 15. “My last back surgery scar is on the front from February. And all those red marks are from heating pads. I probably should turn those down a little bit and, believe it or not this is me actually getting better. Cheers to everyone and rheumatoid arthritis can go f–k itself.”
Tatum’s interview will air Sunday, February 9, on 9 a.m. ET, on CBS.