Ryan O’Neal has won an appeal in his lawsuit against against a film and television producer.
The litigation revolves around comments made by Craig Nevius on Good Morning America and in Star magazine. The producer allegedly suggested that O’Neal stole a valuable Andy Warhol painting owned by actress Farrah Fawcett, while the actor maintains that he was given the artwork.
The Associated Press writes that O’Neal’s lawsuit seeks over $1 million in damages from Nevius. The actor alleges that the valuable Warhol painting was given to him personally by the artist himself.
Ryan O’Neal won the appeal after the 2nd District Court of Appeal in California ruled in his favor Thursday, allowing the legal dispute to continue.
Nevius was trying to halt the lawsuit under California’s anti-SLAAP statute, which pertains to free speech rights.
In part, the ruling states:
“There is at least minimal merit to the defamation claim to satisfy the evidentiary standard to defeat an anti-SLAAP motion. Accordingly, we find no error in the trial court’s decision to deny Nevius’ anti-SLAAP motion.”
According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the defamation case will now return to the trial court. Todd Eagan, who serves as legal representation for O’Neal, commented on the outcome of Thursday’s ruling:
“We are very pleased that the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision in favor of Ryan O’Neal and against Craig Nevius. We look forward to prevailing at trial.”
Although Ryan O’Neal has won the appeal case, he still faces additional litigation with the University of Texas, which claims Fawcett left the artwork to the school following her death from cancer.