John McEnroe’s Kid Caught Fundraising for Fake Jewish Museum Show
Sean O'Neil says that it was a mistake, and has fired his manager.
O’Neal is the son of Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal and John McEnroe, the tennis great who has also done a turn as an art dealer. All the same, the 28-year-old has turned to GoFundMe to raise $10,000 in support of an upcoming exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Florida, in Miami, which is part of Florida International University. It was supposedly a collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League.
“It’s very hard to be an artist in this economy,” O’Neal tells the New York Post. “It makes me feel good about myself to try to raise the money myself and do it on my own two feet.”
In a strange twist, however, the show apparently didn’t exist. O’Neal’s ex-manager, Barbara Assante, told the Post that “the fund-raising was more broadly to help Sean pay for printing and framing his art in pursuit of a show.” O’Neal maintains Assante told him the show was confirmed, and he has fired her.
Following the revelation, the GoFundMe campaign was scrapped and the donors were refunded. It had raised a cool $833.
O’Neal, a landscape photographer, explains on his website that he hopes to inspire viewers to protect the natural world with his lush images. He has also photographed the aftermath of earthquakes in Nepal in support of the charitable organization Citta. Both bodies of work are available on his website, at prices starting at $1,200.
He says he’s hard-up after an expensive operation following an accident in which he broke several bones. He has reportedly tried to support himself as a busboy and as a Lyft driver, though he’s currently unemployed. How he was able to afford a manager, given this hard-up situation, is not clear.
Tatum O’Neal has said on social media that “Sean does not speak to his father. Nor am I aware if his father speaks to him.” She also says that she’s unable to help him financially.
O’Neal did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
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