(Source -Reuters)

Oscar-winner Tatum O’Neal, the former child actress who chronicled her struggles with addiction in a 2004 memoir, was arrested on suspicion of buying drugs on the streets of New York City on Sunday, police said on Monday

The New York Daily News reported O’Neal, 44, was caught buying crack cocaine from a homeless street vendor three blocks from her home.

A police spokesman said she was seen buying a controlled substance from a man in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, once a crime-infested neighborhood that has become trendy.

O’Neal’s representatives could not be reached for comment. It was unclear when she would go before a judge.

The Daily News, citing unnamed police sources, reported that O’Neal first told police she was “doing research for a part” and changed her story after police searched her and found a bag of crack, a bag of regular cocaine and an unused crack pipe.

“I’ve been clean for a long time,” the Daily News reported her as telling police. “Today was the first time I was relapsing, but you guys saved me. Can you let me go?”

At 10, O’Neal became the youngest person to win a competitive Academy Award for her supporting role in “Paper Moon,” in which she starred along with her father, Ryan O’Neal.

That led to her role in 1976’s “Bad News Bears” in which she became, at the time, the highest-paid child star in history, according to the Internet Movie Database.

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