TODAY   |  December 03, 2013

Ryan O’Neal testifies in Farrah painting trial

Actor Ryan O’Neal took to the stand in a legal battle involving the University of Texas at Austin and an Andy Warhol portrait of the late actress Farrah Fawcett, with whom O’Neal had a long-term relationship. The actor, who was emotional during his testimony, repeatedly claimed that the painting belonged to him, not the university.

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>>> developments in the legal battle over a andy warhol painting of farrah faucet. ryan o'neal has taken the witness stand saying he is the rightful owner. here's jason kennedy .

>> reporter: ryan o'neal testified after faucet's death in 2009 he removed the warhol from her home. the painting is mine he said. saying he requested two versions of the portrait. one for him and one for farrah . the 72-year-old star of love story was frequently emotional on the stand when talking about his long time love.

>> ryan o'neal was not an actor on the stand today and everybody saw that. that was pure emotion and he was telling the truth.

>> reporter: oneal is being sued by the university of texas austin which owns the other painting.

>> the best evidence of what farrah wanted is her living trust and what she clearly said in her living trust was number one, ryan o'neal gets nothing.

>> faucet who went to texas for three years talks about the warhols in her 2006 reality show chasing farrah .

>> how many did he make of you?

>> two.

>> two, wow.

>> well, probably three. well, i don't know. i have two.

>> o neal says the portrait hung in his home for years until an old girlfriend objected and he gave it to faucet for keeping. lawyers for the university said he had no right to remove it.

>> we had to concede that he went into her condominium within days after she died and physically took one of those portraits out and left the condominium without telling anybody what he had done.

>> reporter: for his part he says removing the picture wasn't a secret. the portrait seen here in o neal's own reality show could be worth tens of millions. but he said he would never sell it saying it would go to her son, our son. for today, jason kennedy , nbc news, los angeles .

>> that's going to get messy. let's get a chick --