Ryan O’Neal once vowed that the famed Andy Warhol portrait of his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett, would never be sold. But now the actor is reportedly shopping the iconic painting of the late Charlie’s Angels star for millions of dollars, according to a new report from Page Six. An insider told the site that O’Neal hopes to fetch as much as $18 million for the artwork, which been a famous piece of pop culture history for nearly 40 years.
The insider told Page Six that O’Neal is secretly shopping Warhol’s Farrah Fawcett piece for $18 million — after originally asking $20 million for it — and that he would even be “willing to let it go for less.” The painting is reportedly being shopped with documentation that includes a letter dated March of 2018. The letter is penned by an appraiser who estimates the painting’s worth to now be between $21 million and $24 million.
The source explained that Ryan O’Neal would like the famous piece to land in the hands of an art collector, and that he doesn’t want to leave the work to his adult children, some of whom he was estranged from for years. Ryan O’Neal is father to Tatum, Griffin, Patrick, and Redmond O’Neal. Redmond is Ryan’s only child with Farrah Fawcett.
The painting, which Andy Warhol created in 1980, sparked controversy after Farrah Fawcett’s death in 2009. At that time, the University of Texas claimed that Fawcett had left the artwork, one of two Warhol portraits, to the school in her will. A three-week trial against the university resulted in Ryan O’Neal being awarded ownership of the famous piece, which was estimated to be worth $12 million at the time. The school retained Warhol’s other painting of Farrah Fawcett.
At the time he won ownership of the painting, Ryan O’Neal vowed that he would never sell it. He revealed that he had plans to pass it down to his son, Redmond.
“It will never be sold,” O’Neal said on the Today show in 2013, per The Hollywood Reporter.
“It will go on to her son Redmond and his children and his children… It was always invaluable to us. She was a wonderful woman, and this is what was left. That’s all that was left.”
Ryan O’Neal explained that although Farrah Fawcett didn’t complete her living trust before she passed away, the Warhol painting had already been in his home for 18 years. He called the university’s ownership claims a “long shot,” and said Farrah — his casual romantic partner of more than 25 years — would have wanted him to “fight” for the painting.
Ryan O’Neal has not publicly commented on Page Six’s report that he is selling the Farrah Fawcett painting.