Andy Warhol Portrait At Stake In Lawsuit

Jul 15, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
The University of Texas and Ryan O'Neal are fighting for possession of an Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has filed a lawsuit against actor Ryan O'Neal, alleging an Andy Warhol silkscreen portrait of late actress Farrah Fawcett in O'Neal's possession belongs to the UT System under provisions of Fawcett's living trust.

The portrait in question is one of two Warhol created and gifted to Fawcett, who bequeathed her artwork to the University of Texas in a living trust she established prior to her death in 2009. One of the two silkscreens now hangs in the UT-run Blanton Museum of Art in Austin. The UT Regents filed its lawsuit after spotting the second silkscreen hanging over the bed of Fawcett's longtime partner O'Neal in an episode of the reality television show Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals.

An O'Neal spokesman told the American Statesman the portrait belongs to the actor because Fawcett specifically gave it to him as a gift.

This is not the first legal controversy related to the disposition of Fawcett's estate. In January 2010, the trustee of the Fawcett Living Trust, Richard B. Francis, sued the producer of a documentary about Fawcett, alleging he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the actress after she rejected his cut of the film.