Farrah Fawcett left behind an Andy Warhol painting of herself, which is valued at anywhere between $600,000 and $10 million.
The portrait was painted from a Polaroid picture Warhol took of the actress in 1980. He gave her red lips and green eyes, but other than that, it is colorless.
The question that will soon be decided in court, is who does it belong to, according to ABC.
Fawcett’s long-time love, Ryan O’Neal, the man she had a relationship with for over 30 years, says that the portrait was his. He says that he brought it to her house so that the salty sea air at his beach property wouldn’t ruin the valuable art work.
O’Neal has countersued the University for the return of a napkin that Andy Warhol drew hearts on for Farrah Fawcett.
“It is a precious memento of his life with Ms. Fawcett, the love of his life, with whom he was romantically involved for 30 years up until the time of her death,” O’Neal’s lawyers wrote in a trial brief. “Because O’Neal’s Warhol portrait is an heirloom, he never intends to, nor will sell it.”
On the other side, her alma matter, the University of Texas at Austin claims that the portrait was given to them in her will, and should hang beside the other one they have from her, at the University. They also claim that Ryan O’Neal wrongly removed the painting, which was one of the main attractions in a 2011 exhibit on portraiture at UT’s Blanton Museum of Art, from her condo after her death.
“We simply want to honor and respect the charitable intent and wishes of Farrah Fawcett,” UT’s Vice Chancellor for External Relations Randa S. Safady wrote in a statement. “It is indisputable that in Ms. Fawcett’s living trust, she named the University of Texas at Austin as the sole beneficiary of all of her works of art, including artwork she created and all objects of art that she owned, for charitable purposes.”
Jury selection will begin this week. Jurors will hear evidence concerning Ryan O’Neal’s relationship to Fawcett, as well as his friendship with Andy Warhol. They could also possibly hear testimony from Fawcett’s “Charlie’s Angels” co-star, Jaclyn Smith. They will hear testimony of Fawcett’s final wishes, as well, which reportedly state that she wanted the portrait to go to the school.
The trial will start Wednesday, when attorneys will begin arguing over which evidence should be admitted into court, and is expected to last two weeks.
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