Probate Dispute Over Warhol Portrait of Farrah

The estate of Farrah Fawcett is seeing a large amount of legal wrangling. Farrah left her painting collection to the University of Texas. Ryan O’Neal has possession of a famous portrait of Farrah by Andy Warhol. O’Neal claims Warhol gave it to him. The University of Texas claims it belongs to them and filed suit against O’Neil.

Farrah Fawcett Portrait at the Blanton

According to the Houston Chronicle, the original suit filed in Federal court was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, but the University has now refiled the suit in California state court.

Meanwhile, O’Neal has filed a related defamation lawsuit against a Hollywood producer for allegedly publicizing that O’Neal stole the painting.

The Trials & Heirs Blog reported on the initial lawsuit and provided the following comment on personal property disputes among heirs and family:

“For those people involved in family fights over property where there is no paper trail over who really owned it, the old adage among lawyers is ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law.’ That often holds true in probate court, where judges seldom have patience to decide who is telling the truth about when a certain set of china, necklace or baseball card collection really was handed over or not.”

The entire article is available at the Trials and Heirs Blog.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ethan Lundgaard

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