A jury decided on Thursday that actor Ryan O’Neal could keep an Andy Warhol painting, depicting his late partner Farrah Fawcett, after a month-long battle with the University of Texas at Austin.
The university, Fawcett’s alma mater, argued the painting was left to them in the actress’ will, as was her entire artwork collection.
But O’Neal, who testified that the portrait was the closest remaining connection that he had to Fawcett, was determined to keep it in the family.
Within 90 minutes, the jury returned a 9-3 verdict in favor of O’Neal. The actor was not present for the verdict, but his sons Patrick and Redmond (his only child with Fawcett) were in the courtroom and clasped hands and hugged after the decision was announced.
According to the actor’s attorney, O’Neal was undergoing a medical procedure at the time of the verdict.
O’Neal and Fawcett had a tumultuous 30 year relationship that continued until the blonde beauty’s death in 2009 from cancer. The actress subsequently left nothing to her partner in her will.
Reports estimate that Fawcett's portrait has a value between $800,000 and $12 million. O’Neal told the jury that he has no intention of selling it and plans to pass it down to the couple’s son.
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