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    Farrah Fawcett Portrait Battle Pits Ryan O'Neal Against University of Texas

    Farrah Fawcett, Warhol painting, Ryan O'Neal David Livingston/Getty Images

    We all know Farrah Fawcett was an icon.

    And now a silkscreen portrait Andy Warhol did of the Charlie's Angels star is the subject of a bitter legal dispute between her former partner, Ryan O'Neal, and her alma mater, the University of Texas.

    The two sides are facing off today at a civil trial starting Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that will determine the fate of the painting as part of a lawsuit the university filed against the veteran actor.

    Per the New York Post, UT lawyers claim the work in question is part of a collection of art that Fawcett bequeathed to the university after she left her longtime love out of her will.

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    O'Neal vehemently disagreed, alleging that the portrait was a gift from the famed artist to him personally, noting that UT already has an identical Warhol painting that was in Farrah's possession hanging in its Blanton Museum of Art.

    However, university trustees begged to differ, alleging that Warhol gave Fawcett the painting exclusively. UT trustees say they were tipped off to the second painting by a boyfriend of the actress and subsequently hired detectives who managed to track the painting to O'Neal's Malibu mansion, hence its lawsuit.

    The Love Story star however fired back with a countersuit, arguing that the University of Texas has no right to the pop art portrait.

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    In a deposition, he stated that Farrah took it from him a year after she moved out of their home in February 1997 after catching him in bed with another woman. After she died in 2009, O'Neal subsequently retrieved it from her estate.

    He also asserted that UT did not have legal rights to a signed sketch Warhol did of the onetime couple on a cloth napkin when the trio were at dinner decades ago.

    The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, should prove to be interesting in terms of offering insight into O'Neal and Fawcett's often stormy on-and-off-again relationship.

    Among those on the witness list is Farrah's Charlie's Angels costar Jaclyn Smith, BFF Alana Stewart and her and Ryan's only son, Redmond O'Neal.

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