Pop culture

Dispute over Farrah Fawcett artwork by Andy Warhol goes to trial

Nov. 13, 2013 at 8:52 AM ET

A silkscreen of Farrah Fawcett by artist Andy Warhol, which may be worth $30 million, has become the center of a legal dispute over ownership.

Ryan O'Neal, Fawcett's on-again, off-again partner between 1979 and her 2009 death, and the University of Texas have competing claims on the 1980 artwork. O'Neal said that Warhol had given it to him personally, and he had left it at Fawcett's house briefly when a girlfriend objected to his having it in his own home. He said he retrieved it after Fawcett's death, according to a report on TODAY Wednesday.

The university, meanwhile, claims Fawcett left all of her artwork to the school in a living trust.

According to O'Neal, the University of Texas is "greedily ... trying to take (his) cherished portrait of the love of his life."

The actor and the school will go head-to-head in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday in a two-week trial. The list of possible witnesses includes O'Neal, his and Fawcett's son Redmond, and the actress' former "Charlie's Angel" co-star Jaclyn Smith.

Who will win the dispute? 

"It may come down to how good of an actor Mr. O'Neal is," said probate and estate attorney Kenneth Ostrove on TODAY. "If he can play out that emotional side of it, be believable."

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