OK! magazine has an exclusive interview with Jorge Bendersky, Tatum O’Neal’s dog groomer. The former child star, who was arrested this past weekend on a drug charge, said the death of her 16-year-old Scottie dog, Lena had pushed her over the edge.
Bendersky,who grooms posh pooches at the New York Dog Spa and Hotel when he’s not appearing on the reality series, Groomer Has It, says O’Neal was deeply affected by the loss of her pet:
“She loved that dog,” Jorge tells OK!. “She would bring her here super-often. I have so many clients, I can see them going through stuff with their dog; it’s devastating. And somebody who has the inclination, or had a path with some trouble, it could push you over the edge, more when you are attached to the dog as you are.”
Tatum’s devotion to Lena, who passed from cancer, knew no bounds, Jorge says.
“She always kept the dog perfect. She would bring it and pick it up herself,” he reveals. “It’s hard, you see what you see in the media, but the other side, you know hands-on how devoted she was with her dog. I’m used to seeing what pet owners go through when their dogs get old or sick.”
Jorge last talked to Tatum a few months ago, discussing Lena’s health. The 44-year-old former child star had ceased bringing Lena in due to her frail state. Though he has not spoken with Tatum, who documented her drug-addled past in A Paper Life, since Lena’s passing three weeks ago, Jorge insists he saw no signs of trouble in Tatum in the past.