Ryan Oneal has recalled the moment in which is dying partner Farrah Fawcett finally succumbed to cancer and slipped "into eternal sleep", The Charlie's Angels star was struck down with the disease in 2006 and actor O'Neal was a constant presence at her side as her condition deteriorated.
In his new book 'Both of Us: My Life With Farrah' - which is serialised in Britain's Mail on Sunday - the actor details the heart-breaking few months when Farrah began slipping away. He recalls how he planned to marry Fawcett in hospital but the priest who arrived for the ceremony administered the last rites. He writes, "After the priest leaves, I lie down next to her, wrap my body around her to keep her warm, and then take her hand. I can feel a steady pulse... I caress her hand for hours. Her heart refuses to quit". He adds, "Her heartbeat slows, then disappears. On the morning of June 25, Farrah slips into eternal sleep". On the physical altercations in their often fiery relationship, O'Neal muses in the book, "You have to remember that I'm a trained boxer... If someone is coming at me with fists flailing, my instinct is to block the blows, which is what I did with Farrah... I didn't see my behavior as aberrant. In reality, most of the time it wasn't her I was lashing out at, it was my kids, the world, Hollywood, my agent, you name it. I'm a moody guy".
Earlier this month, O'Neal told People magazine that he had been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer but that doctors believe the "prognosis is positive for a full recovery".