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Tatum O'Neal: 'I'm Dating Women Now'

05/27/2015 AT 08:30 AM EDT

In a candid new interview in this week's PEOPLE, Tatum O'Neal talks about her bond with her eldest son Kevin McEnroe and her admiration for his new novel, Our Town – and she also reveals a surprising new turn in her love life.

"I like women," O'Neal tells PEOPLE. "I definitely have been dating mostly women recently." Of her sexuality, she says, "I'm not one or the other."

"I think women are the most amazing creatures on earth," says the actress, 51. "They're gentle, and also more intelligent than the men that I've met recently. I don't have a steady right now, but I look forward to it."

O'Neal married tennis star John McEnroe in 1986, and they have three children: Kevin, 29; Sean, 28; and Emily, 24. Their split in 1992 led to a long custody battle over the children. McEnroe went on to marry rocker Patty Smyth, with whom he has two daughters, Anna, 19, and Ava, 16. (Smyth also has a daughter, Ruby, from a previous relationship.)



After a decades-long struggle with drugs, O'Neal says she is clean and in a good place these days. "I'm the most content I've ever been," she says. "I'm the proudest mother in the history of the world."

Her son's book, a fictionalized account of the life and struggles of O'Neal's mom, Joanna Moore, a beautiful actress who was married to Ryan O'Neal and who struggled with a pill addiction of her own, has been getting good reviews.

"Kevin found her voice so beautifully," O'Neal says of her mom, who died in 1979. "The book has so much heart. I wish she were alive to see it."

For the full interview with Tatum O'Neal and her son Kevin McEnroe, pick up a copy of this week's PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
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