Anjelica Huston on Ryan O'Neal Assault: Any Man Who Hits a Woman "Deserves to be Outed"
On Roman Polanski's sexual assault: "Whatever happened is his business, and I wasn't there for any untoward behaviors, and I can say that with some happiness"
Anjelica Huston reveals some surprising anecdotes in her new book, Watch Me — one of which is an account that former boyfriend Ryan O'Neal assaulted her at a party until she "saw stars."
In the memoir, Huston recalls walking from the bathroom to the dining room of a Beverly Hills mansion to avoid crossing paths with a belly dancer, when "he turned on me, grabbed me by the hair and hit me in the forehead with the top of his skull," she writes. "I saw stars and reeled back. Half blind, I ran away from him." When she later followed her boyfriend into the bathroom to speak with him alone, "no sooner had I complied then Ryan was in the bathroom, batting me about the head with open hands. Then, abruptly, he left."
The actress reiterated during a Monday morning appearance on Today that she ended the relationship with O'Neal immediately after the assault and explained of exposing the violent memory. "It's my feeling that any man who lifts a hand against a woman deserves to be outed, so I'll leave it at that."
In the book, Huston also breaks her silence on director Roman Polanski's sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson's house. She told Savannah Guthrie of being elsewhere on the property at the time. "So far as I'm concerned, whatever happened is his business, and I wasn't there for any untoward behaviors, and I can say that with some happiness."
Though filled with a handful of painful anecdotes, Huston said the most strenuous part of writing the follow-up to her 2013 title A Story Lately Told was the writing itself. "The hard things are trying to find the proper adjectives rather than retelling a story that might have been painful at the time — the writing process actually superseded the facts of life," she told Guthrie.
For example, to write about her relationship with Hollywood's bad boy Nicholson, "I handled it on a day-to-day basis, and sometimes I didn't handle it so well at the time. Writing about it actually was quite cathartic. I showed him the book before it went to publication, so I got his stamp of approval — not that I needed it, but it was nice to have."
She admitted of her mindset during their 16-year relationship: "I knew what he was up to, but the thing about being with someone who's that much in the public eye and is that charming and is that charismatic, you kind of have to go along with the program. It's not like you're gonna break all those habits."
Watch the interview in the video below.