US & World

Ryan O'Neal, university make final pitch to jury

"Farrah Fawcett", a Polaroid portrait by artist Andy Warhol, is displayed at Sotheby's during a preview of The Polaroid Collection, in New York, June 16, 2010. It was the basis for the Warhol painting in dispute.
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

A jury should honor Farrah Fawcett's wishes and force actor Ryan O'Neal to hand over an Andy Warhol portrait of the late actress to the University of Texas at Austin, a lawyer for the school argued Monday.

The "Charlie's Angels" star left all her artwork to her alma mater, including another version of the portrait Warhol created in 1980 for a television special on his craft aired by "20/20." O'Neal keeps a version of the artwork that he contends Warhol gave him in his beachside home and has told jurors that it represents an important connection to his longtime lover.

University attorney David Beck showed the panel of six men and six women clips from Fawcett's reality show and the "20/20" show, and also showed Fawcett's trust and insurance documents that he said support the school's claim that it now owns the portrait.

"You've seen Farrah, you've heard from Farrah," Beck said. "Please, please, speak for her."

Jurors have heard nearly three weeks of testimony from Fawcett's former collaborators and numerous friends. A reality television producer who collaborated with Fawcett on her reality show testified that he believed O'Neal stole the portrait from the star's home days after her June 2009 death.

Several of Fawcett's friends and a former caretaker however testified for O'Neal that she told them that one of the Warhol portraits belonged to the actor.

One of the Warhols hung in O'Neal's home from 1980 until 1998, a year after Beck contended that the couple's relationship changed after Fawcett caught the actor having an affair. The lawyer reminded jurors they had been shown evidence that the actress paid for insurance for both portraits from at least 2002 until the time of her death.

O'Neal testified that he brokered a deal for Warhol to make the Fawcett portrait in exchange for receiving one copy.

Beck however pointed to "20/20" footage that showed Fawcett appearing onstage at a Houston party and telling the audience that the artist had agreed to paint her portrait. He said O'Neal's claims of ownership should be rejected.

He noted that O'Neal did not receive anything from Fawcett's estate.

O'Neal's attorney Marty Singer will make his argument for the Oscar-nominated star to keep the portrait on Monday as well. He has said the university's case is about greed and the school already has one Fawcett Warhol that it displays.

School officials have said they intend to display the two portraits side by side in its Blanton Museum of Art if they win the case.