Tatum O’Neal told the New York Post that the loss of her 16-year-old Scottish Terrier Lena three weeks ago left her depressed and in need of drugs.
O’Neal was arrested buying cocaine from a drug dealer on a Manhattan street over the weekend.
“[Lena’s death] seemed to set me off,” O’Neal told the newspaper. “She got old. She got cancer. She was the fabric of our family. We had to let her go to heaven. My daughter and I had to put her down. It was too horrible for words.
“I couldn’t get out of it. I was going to my psychiatrist. I was doing everything I could do. I have the disease of alcoholism. It’s lifelong. I treat it every day by going to my 12-step program.”
O’Neal says the arrest may have saved her life. “I’m still sober!” says O’Neal, whose memoir, “A Paper Life,” chronicles her struggles with addiction. “Just when I was about to change that and wreck my life, the cops came and saved me,” she says.
“I was saved by the bell, by the guys in the Seventh Precinct,” she adds.