Ryan O'Neal 'Talks To Farrah Fawcett Painting'
Ryan O'Neal has told a court he talks to a painting of his ex-lover Farah Fawcett as a way of keeping "her presence" in his life.
The actor was giving evidence in a hearing to determine who owns the Andy Warhol picture that used to hang in Fawcett's home.
The University of Texas claims it owns the portrait, which is a monochrome and neon-colour image of Fawcett, typical of the artist's style.
It says the Charlie's Angels star left all her art to her former college when she died after a long battle with cancer in 2009.
But O'Neal claims it was given to him as a family heirloom for their only son Redmond, who is also due to give evidence.
The picture, which was created from a photo of Fawcett in 1980, is now valued at between $1m (£650,000) by O'Neal's lawyer and $12m (£7m) by the university.
The NBC network made a documentary about her cancer fight during which the painting can be seen in her home.
Lawyers for the University of Texas have said she owned it on the day she died.
The jury has been shown a document in which she requested that all the art she owned showed go to her old college and not to O'Neal.
The pair had an on-off relationship for more than 30 years, having Redmond in 1985, but never married. They split in 1997.
Despite admitting he cheated on her, O'Neal said he was shocked when she threw him out and said he remained close to her and tried to stay by her side during her illness.
He said they had made an agreement about the painting when they split and he had kept it for a while before giving it back to her for safekeeping.
The actor has admitted taking the portrait from Fawcett's condominium in the days after her death, but said he was given permission by her estate's trustee.
He told the court on Wednesday: "I talk to it. I talk to her. It's her presence. Her presence in my life. In her son's life."
Other witnesses have given conflicting views on the painting's ownership.
O'Neal started out as a TV star in Peyton Place before moving into movies such as Paper Moon, Barry Lyndon and A Bridge Too Far. He was Oscar-nominated for his role in Love Story.
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