LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Ryan O’Neal’s attorneys on Thursday concluded their defence of the actor in a lawsuit aimed at making him relinquish an Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett that he says he has owned since 1980.
The silkscreen portrait continues to hang in O’Neal’s beachside home, but the University of Texas at Austin wants a jury to determine it owns the artwork and that it should be handed over in accordance with Fawcett’s final wishes.
The “Charlie’s Angels” star left the school all her artwork upon her death in June 2009.
O’Neal’s final witnesses included his son with Fawcett, Redmond, and a chiropractor who treated the actress and watched her work on her own sculptures.
Redmond O’Neal’s testimony was limited by Superior Court Judge William MacLaughlin, who told attorneys on both sides that the three-week case has featured too much testimony that has nothing to do with who owns the disputed artwork.
Redmond O’Neal told jurors that his mother didn’t like a reality TV producer who testified for the university and said he believes Ryan O’Neal stole the portrait from Fawcett’s condominium.
The producer, Craig Nevius, provided footage from Fawcett’s reality show and images and other information that was presented by university attorneys in their bid to gain possession of the portrait that experts said is worth anywhere from less than $1 million to $12 million.
The actor’s case consisted largely of witnesses who knew Fawcett and recounted their recollections of conversations with the actress about the two portraits Warhol created of her while she was filming a special for the TV show “20/20.”
The university will present a brief rebuttal case, including testimony from Nevius. Jurors could begin deliberations on Friday.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP