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Ryan O’Neal accused as Warhol painting trial opens

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Ryan O’Neal snatched an Andy Warhol portrait of his ex-lover Farrah Fawcett from her home shortly after she died, even though he knew it was not his, lawyers claimed Monday.

But as a long-awaited trial opened in Los Angeles, a lawyer for the veteran actor claimed he was the rightful owner of the painting, with an estimated value of up to $12 million.

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The University of Texas, where the “Charlie’s Angels” star studied as a young woman, sued O’Neal in August 2011 after spotting the disputed canvas in the actor’s home during an episode of reality TV show “Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals.”

The university says Fawcett bequeathed all her artwork to her alma mater when she died, and it insists the Warhol painting should be displayed in a museum next to a near-identical portrait of the late actress.

The university’s lawyer, David Beck, told a Los Angeles jury that O’Neal removed the work from Fawcett’s Wilshire Boulevard condominium shortly after she died of cancer on June 25, 2009, aged 62.

“We need your help to resolve a dispute as to who really owns this Warhol painting,” he said in his opening statement in the LA Superior Court.

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Fawcett “had possession and control of these two paintings on the day she died and for years before that,” the university’s lawyer said, claiming O’Neal knew that when he drove away with the disputed canvas.

“He didn’t tell anyone what he was going to do, and he didn’t tell anyone what he had done,” Beck said.

But O’Neal’s attorney Martin Singer said the university was trying to take away the one portrait the 72-year-old actor has of “the love of his life, Farrah Fawcett.”

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“One iconic portrait of Farrah Fawcett is not enough,” he told the six-man, six-woman jury, referring to the Warhol near-duplicate the university already has.

While the university says the portrait is worth about $12 million, O’Neal’s lawyer estimated its value at just under $1 million, adding: “The University of Texas should have been satisfied with what they got.”

Fawcett died in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer on the same day that pop icon Michael Jackson passed away from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, given to help him sleep as he rehearsed for a comeback tour.

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The trial continues Tuesday.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Bret Baier pushes back at Trump’s criticisms of Fox News: ‘We have a news side and an opinion side’

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Fox News host Bret Baier called out President Donald Trump for claiming that Fox News had "changed" after the conservative cable network released a poll showing him trailing behind four of the Democratic presidential frontrunners in the 2020 race.

"OK. Well, Fox has not changed," Baier said in response to Trump during a segment from Monday's edition of "Special Report." "We have a news side and an opinion side. The opinion folks express their opinions. We do polls. Our latest poll had the Democratic candidates head-to-head, several of them ahead of President Trump. And this poll tracks exactly what the Real Clear Politics average of polls — even a little the other way — and this poll matches what we are seeing out there."

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Susan Sarandon scorched for attacking Elizabeth Warren at Bernie Sanders event (video)

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Susan Sarandon is still a pariah to many Democrats who believe her very active support of extremist Jill Stein during the 2016 presidential election helped elect Donald Trump president. And she’s under fire once again.

The Academy Award winning actress and activist on Monday spoke at an even supporting Senator Bernie Sanders, who is once again running for president as a Democrat. Sarandon appeared to throw shade at Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is currently battling the Vermont independent lawmaker for the number two slot in the polls.

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Trump blasted with ridicule for praising Ivanka and Jared on vacation: ‘Everybody works harder than those two’

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President Donald Trump was blasted with ridicule for praising his "incredible" daughter and son-in-law for taking a break from working in his White House.

Ivanka Trump shared photos on social media of herself and husband Jared Kushner -- both senior advisers to the president -- on a camping vacation trip, and Trump retweeted one post in a busy morning commenting on social media.

Two incredible people. I can’t believe they’re not working (few work harder)! https://t.co/tsh8KDS8Qs

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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