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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.

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.

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“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.”

“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.

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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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‘Any other attorney general would resign’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe scalds Barr for ‘lying’ about FBI

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough scalded Attorney General William Barr for lying about the inspector general report he ordered to justify President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories.

The Department of Justice's inspector general failed to find evidence of an FBI plot against Trump's 2016 campaign, but Barr publicly disagreed with those findings and insisted there was not enough justification to launch the Russia investigation.

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These homes for mentally ill adults have been notoriously mismanaged. Now, one is a gruesome crime scene.

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Oceanview Manor Home for Adults, a psychiatric group home at the center of a yearslong legal battle over the rights of people with mental illness, is now the scene of a criminal investigation involving the death of a resident and the arrest of another.

On the afternoon of Dec. 3, workers at the Oceanview Manor Home for Adults found resident Ann McGrory, 58, lying on the floor, lifeless, with her pants down around her ankles. She had cuts and bruises on her hands, head and face. By her side, seated atop his bed in Room 512, was resident Frank Thompson, 64, her sometimes-boyfriend who had a reputation at the home as a heavy drinker with a short temper. The aides called police. Thompson was brought into custody for questioning later that day and placed under arrest on Wednesday.

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New York City paid McKinsey millions to stem jail violence. Instead, violence soared.

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The corporate consulting firm reported bogus numbers and flailed in a project at Rikers Island. Today, assaults and other attacks there are up almost 50%.

In April 2017, partners from McKinsey & Company sent a confidential final report to the New York City corrections commissioner. They had spent almost three years leading an unusual project for a white-shoe corporate consulting firm like McKinsey: Attempting to stem the tide of inmate brawls, gang slashings and assaults by guards that threatened to overwhelm the jail complex on Rikers Island.

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