O’Neal Warhol Lawsuit Refiled

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August 28, 2011 | 9:00pm EST

Officials at the University of Texas have refiled a lawsuit against Ryan O’Neal over an iconic Andy Warhol portrait he owns which they claim is rightfully theirs.
O’Neal’s late lover Farrah Fawcett, who died in 2009, reportedly left her entire art collection to the University of Texas, her alma mater.

Producer/filmmaker Craig Nevius suggested a 1979 Warhol painting owned by O’Neal should have been among the items handed over to the school and that prompted lawyers for the university to file papers asking a judge to order O’Neal to return the piece.

The Love Story actor, who was a close friend of Warhol’s, claims the artist produced two copies of the Fawcett portrait, which is worth an estimated $30 million – one for the screen beauty and the other for O’Neal.

Federal court judges ruled they didn’t have jurisdiction in the case, and now university officials have refiled their complaint at Los Angeles Superior Court.

In court papers, university representatives state, “Mr. O’Neal has wrongfully converted the missing Warhol portrait that belongs to UT Austin. Mr. O’Neal was not included in Ms. Fawcett’s will, nor in the Fawcett Living Trust, and Ms. Fawcett’s express wishes as stated in the Farrah Fawcett Living Trust have been thwarted by such conversion.”

The original lawsuit was branded “ridiculous” by O’Neal’s spokesperson, while the actor is also suing Nevius for his “false, malicious and defamatory” comments, insisting he has suffered “humiliation, mental anguish and emotional distress” as a result.