Ryan O'Neal: Farrah Fawcett Warhol Portrait Is His, Jury Rules

Friday, 20 Dec 2013 11:09 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Los Angeles jury ruled Thursday that Ryan O'Neal can keep an Andy Warhol-painted portrait of the actor's longtime partner Farrah Fawcett.

The verdict came after a three-week trial that saw O'Neal and the University of Texas at Austin squabbling over possession of the 1980 portrait, which is estimated to be worth up to $12 million, according to CNN.

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O'Neal, Fawcett's on-again, off-again partner from 1979 until her death in 2009, argued that Warhol personally gave him the silkscreen painting, which he stored at Fawcett's house.

In court documents, he accused the school of "greedily ... trying to take my cherished portrait of the love of my life."

"I talk to [the portrait]," O'Neal said in court last week. "I talk to her. It's her presence. Her presence in my life. In her son's life."

The school claimed that the "Charlie's Angels" star left all of her artwork to the university in a living trust. Fawcett reportedly attended UT in 1968 before becoming an actress.

What complicated matters is the fact that Warhol apparently created two versions of the same painting, so the central question of the case was whether both belonged to Fawcett — and therefore the university — or if one belonged to O'Neal.

Half a dozen witnesses backed O'Neal's story and, after four days of deliberations, the jury of six women and six men sided with him too.

Redmond O'Neal, Fawcett's son with Ryan O'Neal, told reporters after the verdict that the jury made the right decision.

"This portrait is a family heirloom," the 28-year-old said. "It has no money value to me. It's sentimental. It's to stay in the family. It's a beautiful remembrance of my mom, and it belongs where it is."

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