People Exclusive

Tatum O’Neal ‘Relieved’ to Avoid Jail Time

Tatum O’Neal

Louis Lanzano/AP

updated 07/07/2008 AT 2:00 PM ET

originally published 07/07/2008 AT 5:00 PM ET

Now that Tatum O’Neal has entered a plea agreement that should see her avoid jail time, she says it’s time to focus on what’s important: Work, her kids and getting help for her addictions.

“I was relieved by the sentence, and now it’s back to my kids, the 12 steps and work,” the Paper Moon Oscar winner tells PEOPLE.

O’Neal, 44, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after a July 1 arrest in which she allegedly bought cocaine near her Lower Manhattan home.

In exchange for pleading guilty to the lesser charge, the onetime child star must undergo two half-day sessions in a drug-treatment program and pay a $95 fine.

If she completes all that by Sept. 4, the charges against her are expected to be dropped.


From Our Partners