Ryan O'Neal Says Farrah Fawcett Portrait by Andy Warhol Will 'Never Be Sold' (Video)
"I know that she would've said, 'Fight for me! Fight for this painting!'" said the actor and longtime romantic partner of the "Charlie's Angels" of the art piece.
As a jury awarded ownership of an Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett to Ryan O'Neal on Thursday, the actor has followed up with the announcement that the silk screen will never wear a price tag.
"It will never be sold," he said Monday on the Today show. "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."
The art piece's ownership was contested during a three-week trial against the University of Texas, in which Fawcett's final wishes and her relationship with O'Neal were dissected among testimonies from O'Neal and Fawcett's close family and friends. Jurors voted 9-3 in favor of O'Neal, allowing him to keep the portrait in his beachside home.
"My son Patrick called me from the courthouse," he said while sitting next to his attorney Martin Singer, as he was undergoing a minor surgery at the time of the verdict. "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."
O'Neal, who said he asked her for permission before appearing on Today, said that though Fawcett didn't complete her living trust when she passed away, she wouldn't have had to explicitly state that the painting belonged to him, since it had previously been in his home for 18 years. He called the university's ownership claims a "long shot" instigated by outside motivations.
"I have enemies, and one of them sent 90 emails to the regents there, said I stole it and that it was worth $30 million, and I stole it and they should come and get it," he said.
Watch O'Neal in the video below: