Ryan O'Neal Was on Operating Table When Farrah Fawcett Verdict Came In: Tears Were "Mixing With the Blood"

Actor opens up about his recent legal victory that allows him to keep the Andy Warhol silkscreen of his longtime love

By Peter Gicas Dec 23, 2013 9:09 PMTags
Farrah Fawcett, Warhol painting, Ryan O'NealDavid Livingston/Getty Images

For Ryan O'Neal, the portrait of the late Farrah Fawcett that a jury said he could keep helps him to continue communicating with the late actress.

"I talked to her this morning about doing your show. She said I could do it," the Love Story star said while discussing the case on Monday's Today.

With his lawyer, Martin Singer, by his side, O'Neal recalled how he learned about last Thursday's verdict, which he was unable to hear in person as he was undergoing a medical procedure for skin cancer.

"My son Patrick called me from the courthouse," he said. "He texted me. I was lying on an operating table. There was blood running down the side of my face and then there were tears running down the side of my face mixing with the blood. It was a pretty amazing moment for me."

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O'Neal also later insisted that the Andy Warhol silkscreen portrait of Fawcett "will never be sold," adding, "It will go on to her son Redmond and his children and his children. ... It was always invaluable to us. She was a wonderful woman, and this is what was left. That's all that was left."

Last week, the jury ruled 9-3 in favor of O'Neal, who insisted the painting was rightfully his.

Fawcett, who passed away in 2009 after a long battle with cancer, left her extensive art collection, including a Warhol print, to her alma mater, the University of Texas in Austin in her will. The school argued that another Warhol piece, hanging in O'Neal's bedroom, also belonged to them. The actor had countered, saying that Warhol made two for Fawcett in 1980 and she had given one to O'Neal.

Regarding the trial, O'Neal said, "I know that she would've said, 'Fight for me! Fight for this painting!' She would have told me that."

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