Ryan O’Neal wins trial over Andy Warhol’s Farrah Fawcett portrait
Andy Warhol’s Farrah Fawcett portrait belongs to actor Ryan O’Neal, a California jury has decided.
The University of Texas at Austin had sued Ryan O’Neal, claiming Farrah Fawcett left them the painting as part of a donation.
Farrah Fawcett, who died in 2009 aged 62, attended the university in the 1960s.
Ryan O’Neal, 72, had an 18-year relationship with Farrah Fawcett and removed the painting from her home after her death.
The actor said the portrait was a treasured memento of their relationship.
The portrait is one of a pair created by Andy Warhol in 1980, when he took Polaroid photos of the actress and added splashes of color to a monochrome canvas.
One version is currently on display at the university’s Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, while Ryan O’Neal has hung the other over the bed at his Malibu beach house.
The university launched its legal case in 2011 after the portrait was spotted in the actor’s home during an episode of reality TV show Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals.
University lawyer David Beck had urged jurors to give the school the portrait in accordance with Farrah Fawcett’s wishes.
“You’ve seen Farrah. You’ve heard from Farrah,” David Beck said on Monday during closing arguments.
“Please, please, speak for her.”
David Beck had also questioned whether Ryan O’Neal had ever discussed removing the portrait with anyone, including a trustee charged with carrying out Farrah Fawcett’s final wishes.
Ryan O’Neal, who removed the portrait outside her bedroom, said: “Of course I did. I’m sure I did. It wasn’t a secret.”
He told jurors that if he is allowed to keep the Warhol portrait, he will never sell it, and that his estate documents call for it to be passed down to his and Farrah Fawcett’s son, Redmond O’Neal.
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