Farrah Fawcett Portrait Awarded To Ryan O’Neal
A controversial Farrah Fawcett portrait was awarded to Ryan O’Neal by a Los Angeles Jury. The University of Texas Austin filed the lawsuit, claiming the Andy Warhol painting rightfully belonged to the university. Members of the jury disagreed, ruling that the portrait belongs to O’Neal.
According to testimony, two similar portraits were painted by Warhol in 1980. One was given to O’Neal and the other to Fawcett. Although both portraits were in Fawcett’s possession, O’Neal retrieved his copy following the actress’ 2009 death.
As reported by CNN, the Charlie’s Angels star willed her entire art collection to the University of Texas, where she studied prior to her career in Hollywood. The collection included Fawcett’s copy of the Warhol portrait. However, the university wanted both copies.
When the university learned that O’Neal had the portrait, they filed a lawsuit demanding its return. The Los Angeles Times reports the legal battle lasted for more than two years.
The Love Story actor argued that the portrait represents “her presence” in his life. The painting is currently hanging over his bed at his Malibu home. The university argued that the couple’s relationship was strained and they were not close at the time of her death.
Although Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal had an on-again off-again relationship, they spent the majority of three decades together. Several witnesses testified that O’Neal “stuck to her like glue” throughout her battle with cancer.
Although O’Neal was not present in court, the jury returned a verdict in his favor. As the actor was undergoing a medical procedure, his sons Patrick and Redmond were present on his behalf.
Redmond spoke after the verdict, expressing his appreciation for the jury’s decision:
“I know she had something to do with this up there… It’s a great Christmas gift… What great timing. We didn’t want to go into the holidays with them taking it.”
The jury voted nine to three to allow Ryan O’Neal to retain the Farrah Fawcett portrait. Although the painting is valued over $10 million, the actor said the battle was never about money. The portrait has a great deal of sentimental value.