Jury: Ryan O'Neal Can Keep Warhol Portrait of Farrah
University of Texas sued, says Farrah willed it to the school with other art
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2013 6:11 PM CST
Andy Warhol's painting of Farrah Fawcett.   (AP Photo/Blanton Museum of Art, Copyright The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts)

(Newser) – A strange footnote to Farrah Fawcett's death has been settled in court: Ryan O'Neal can keep a large portrait that Andy Warhol made of her in 1980 and that now hangs over O'Neal's bed. A California jury ruled today that the silk screen on canvas belongs to him and not to the University of Texas at Austin, which had sued to obtain it, reports AP. Fawcett bequeathed her art collection to the school, but O'Neal took the painting from her condo after her death—with the permission of the trustee overseeing her belongings. (He and Fawcett were a longtime couple but never married.)

As the LA Times explains in a previous story about the lawsuit, things got a little confusing because two of the portraits exist. The school already has one of them, and it sued O'Neal when it discovered that a near-identical one was hanging in his home. O'Neal maintains that Warhol always intended for him to have one of the two. "During Farrah's lifetime, she told her closest friends and she told the people who work for her a very simple fact: Ryan owned one portrait and Farrah owned another," O'Neal's attorney said in his closing statement earlier this week. The jury agreed.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
Dec 20, 2013 11:35 AM CST
I'm glad Ryan got to keep it. Farrah was the love of his life. I saw it hanging above his bed when he and Tatum had their short-lived TV series. He would NEVER sell that painting. Good for you, Ryan.
Dec 20, 2013 8:31 AM CST
In cases like this, the loser incurs the cost. So the University has to pay O'Neil's lawyers. BTW, unless you know them personally, one should refer to males by their last name. Sometimes it's okay to refer to women by their first names in order not to confuse them with their husbands.
Dec 20, 2013 6:36 AM CST
He should sue that school for the money he lost defending himself. A$sholes.