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Ryan O'Neal can keep Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett, jury says

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Ryan O'Neal will be allowed to keep a portrait of his late partner Farrah Fawcett painted by famed artist Andy Warhol after a jury deemed him the rightful owner on Thursday in a dispute with the University of Texas.
/ Source: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Ryan O'Neal will be allowed to keep a portrait of his late partner Farrah Fawcett painted by famed artist Andy Warhol after a jury deemed him the rightful owner on Thursday in a dispute with the University of Texas.

The Austin-based university sued O'Neal over the ownership of the 1980 Warhol in 2011, after the "Charlie's Angels" star bequeathed her art collection to her alma mater before her death in 2009.

That collection now in university hands includes a similar portrait of Fawcett painted by Warhol at the same time, and the university said in court that Fawcett had wanted the school to have both portraits.

In testimony, O'Neal maintained that Warhol was a friend and had given him the portrait and that Fawcett, with whom the "Love Story" actor had a long relationship, acknowledged his ownership of it before she died of cancer.

The jury ruled 9 to 3 in O'Neal's favor, a Los Angeles Superior Court spokeswoman said.

(Reporting Eric Kelsey; writing by Mary Milliken; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)