Ryan O'Neal's son PATRICK has broken up with actress Rebecca De Mornay after almost 10 years together.

Patrick never married the star of THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE - just like his father, who lived with Farrah Fawcett for 17 years before their 1997 break-up.

A pal says, "It was the strain of never marrying that did Patrick and Rebecca in. You've heard of 'the strain of marriage' ending a relationship? For them it was the opposite."

Patrick, 35, moved out of the Hollywood Hills mansion he shared with the actress and their two children a month ago. He now rents a small Hollywood apartment. But the sports commentator still visits their daughters SOPHIA, five, and VERONICA, two.

The friend tells American tabloid the STAR, "Rebecca's heartbroken. They both love their little girls so much, and they're doing everything they can to ease the emotional blow of the split for the children.

"Patrick is very embarrassed and tight-lipped about the breakup, but I know it wasn't over him fooling around or anything like that."

There was "no big blow-up" says De Mornay's spokeswoman DOMINIQUE APPEL, who adds, "They're still very good friends and care deeply for each other."

15/05/2003 21:32