By Jen Heger – Radar Assistant Managing Editor
Ryan O’Neal, who was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, has a trial date set to determine who owns a Farrah Fawcett painting by Andy Warhol that the late actress’ alma mater, the University of Texas, claim was left to them in her will but which O’Neal says is his.
The University of Texas filed a lawsuit against O’Neal last August, demanding that he turn over the painting, claiming the Charlie’s Angels star bequeathed it to the school after she died. O’Neal filed a counter-suit in which he maintains Warhol gave him the portrait of Farrah and he has no plans to turn it over to the university.
EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS: Court Date Set For Farrah Fawcett Andy Warhol Painting Dispute
According to court documents, obtained exclusively by RadarOnline.com, a trial date has been scheduled for November 27 with a final status hearing before the trial to be heard on November 9.
In the University of Texas’ lawsuit against O’Neal they claim: “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. UT Austin files this lawsuit to recover the missing portrait that Ms. Fawcett left to her alma mater.”
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The legal action was sought after the university hired a private investigator to search for the missing portrait, valued at $30 million.
The investigator’s job was made easier after the debut episode of Ryan and daughter Tatum O’Neal‘s reality show, in which the Warhol painting was clearly seen hanging above Ryan’s bed in his Malibu home.
O’Neal claimed in his countersuit that he was being bullied and harassed by the teaching institution: “The University of Texas is a multi-billion dollar entity. It continues to use its vast publicly funded financial resources to bully and harass Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated actor Ryan O’Neal into giving up possession of artwork he received from his friend of many years, the late Andy Warhol. The University filed the underlying lawsuit in this Action to pressure O’Neal into surrendering his prized Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett, apparently believing it to be worth many millions of dollars.”
After Fawcett died of cancer in 2009, artwork that she owned was taken into possession by the university. However, O’Neal alleges that some of the items that the school has in their possession now are his, because he contends that they belonged to the former couple and were not solely Farrah’s.
“Among the items removed from Ms. Fawcett’s home and received by the University, however, was artwork that did not exclusively belong to Ms. Fawcett, but was jointly owned by O’Neal and Ms. Fawcett. This includes the Warhol ‘Napkin’ which was owned jointly by Ms. Fawcett and O’Neal. In fact, the Warhol napkin is inscribed by Warhol “To Farrah F. and Ryan O,” O’Neal’s countersuit states.