Los Angeles native and famous actor, Ryan O'Neal, is battling in a Los Angeles courtroom over a dispute regarding an Andy Warhol print of the late Farrah Fawcett. O'Neal and Fawcett were romantically involved in a relationship that spanned several decades, reportedly lasting until Fawcett's death from cancer in 2009. The two even had a son together.
Reportedly, Fawcett's estate plans called for her collection of valuable artwork to pass to her alma mater, the University of Texas, after her death. Among her collection of artwork is a portrait of her created by Warhol. Reportedly, two copies of the portrait were made. One definitively belonged to Fawcett, and is thereby in the possession of the University of Texas, but there is a dispute over the ownership of the second copy.
O'Neal reports that he introduced the late actress and pop artist. O'Neal maintains that Warhol requested to make a portrait of Fawcett, and O'Neal agreed, saying, "I told Mr. Warhol that of course he could create a portrait as long as he gave one copy to Ms. Fawcett and another copy to me. Mr. Warhol readily agreed to my request for two copies of the portrait."
The University of Texas, however, maintains that both portraits belonged to the late actress and that O'Neal removed one of the portraits from the Los Angeles home of the actress after her death. It may seem as though one piece of art is a petty issue to be battling over in a courtroom, but the portrait is reportedly valued at $30 million.
Even in cases in which an individual created a trust or
will while alive, there can be disputes that arise after the individual passes on. When the individual is no longer alive to clear the dispute, it often comes down to the word of one party against another. In such situations, a probate attorney can prove highly valuable by being an advocate on behalf of a party involved in a dispute over any matter related to a trust or estate.
Source: Malibu Patch, "Dispute Over Ryan O'Neal's Andy Warhol Portrait Likely to go Before Jury," Oct. 22, 2012