Tatum O'Neill
(June 2008)

The journey of actress Tatum O'Neill from celebrated child star to junkie is too sad to support much humor, but when the 44-year-old actress was apprehended near her Lower East Side luxury apartment in New York City in the process of buying cocaine and crack, she delivered a true howler of an excuse in desperation, thus ensuring herself immortality as June's Ethics Scoreboard "Liar of the Month."

"I'm researching a part," she explained to the arresting officer.

Now, it is true that this doesn't quite reach the surreal depths of Lindsay Lohan's explanation for having cocaine on her person when she was arrested for reckless driving: "These aren't my pants." Still, when one has a rap sheet for drug possession and is a former heroin addict like O'Neill, the "researching a part" claim is even less believable than it would be coming from a first-time offender. This is like John Barrymore or Richard Burton claiming that they were researching the part of a drunk. Or Alex Baldwin saying that he is researching the part of an opinionated blow-hard. Or Dina Lohan researching the role of a self-obsessed and irresponsible show-biz mother. I think we can agree that if there is one thing Tatum O'Neill---indeed, her whole family, all of whom have had continuing addiction and drug abuse problems----knows well is how to acquire illegal drugs.

No further research required.

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