A judge said Thursday that she will give Redmond O’Neal a chance to avoid a legal setback in a civil case brought by a man who alleges that the son of Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett attacked him because of his sexual orientation.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Theresa Traber had indicated in a tentative ruling that she would grant plaintiff Kenneth Paul Fox’s motion that 34-year-old Redmond O’Neal be deemed to have admitted that he assaulted the plaintiff with a bottle and his fists after using a homophobic slur on May 2, 2018, while the plaintiff was walking along Overland Avenue with a load of laundry.
Joseph Amarillas Villarba, Fox’s domestic partner, also is a plaintiff in the case filed in September 2018; he is suing O’Neal loss of consortium and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
If Fox and Villarba ultimately prevail on the motion and O’Neal is deemed to have admitted to have assaulted Fox, the plaintiffs will not have to prove those facts in a trial.
But after hearing arguments from attorneys, the judge said she would give O’Neal until Oct. 9 to file papers opposing the request for admissions or for a stay of the case.
Attorney Nina Daly, who represents O’Neal in ongoing criminal cases against him, said her client is currently on suicide watch and undergoing evaluations to determine whether he is competent to stand trial in the criminal proceedings. She said she intended to file a motion for a stay of the civil case, but that problems with her computer’s hard drive prevented her from doing so.
Fox’s attorney, Sasha Skaf, objected to the extension, saying Daly had plenty of time to file the appropriate court papers and never contacted her about not being able to make the court’s deadline. Skaf said it would be prejudicial to her clients to have to delay their case even further.
Fox told ABC7 that after O’Neal struck him with the bottle, he fell and that O’Neal began punching and threatening him, screaming still more slurs and expletives.
“I felt trapped, like a wounded animal,” Fox said. “I literally thought I was going to die. I screamed, he called me more names. By then, I was kneeling on the sidewalk, my broken glasses cutting into my face, bleeding all over myself, and all I could do was scream until he just walked away.”
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