Ryan O'Neal's Lawyer Marty Singer on Trial Against University of Texas
The court case between Farrah Fawcett’s longtime partner Ryan O’Neal and the University of Texas at Austin has been going on for three weeks. The issue, before Farrah passed away in 2009 she gave her artwork to her alma mater, among those an Andy Warhol portraits of actress. The school now wants another Warhol owned by Ryan O’Neal.
With closing arguments expected Monday, Ryan’s lawyers Marty Singer and Todd Eagan sat down for an exclusive interview with “Extra.”
Marty began by explaining, “When she (Farrah) passed away the University of Texas got one of the Warhol portraits of Ms. Fawcett, other Warhol portraits, some valuable art and not to mention they got approximately 57 works of art she had done…Farrah Fawcett wanted it known her legacy as an artist.”
Mr. Singer continued, “I’ve interviewed at least twenty people who knew Farrah during her lifetime and everyone who knew Farrah said all she wanted the University of Texas to receive was her art work, not art work she purchased…Unfortunately they have one Warhol portrait and now they wanted a second that is owned by Ryan O’Neil.”
Marty Singer went on to call the case a case of greed, “This is a case of greed, that’s what this case is about. When the University of Texas received the portrait that it got from the estate it was appraised at $600,000. Since then the IRS has appraised it at $900,000. Ryan’s portrait has been appraised at $900,000. The University of Texas insured it for $600,000. You insurance portraits for what it's worth because if something happened. They've come to court and said Ryan's portrait is worth twenty times that amount, twelve million dollars that in of itself shows they want 12 million dollars for the portrait…The fact of the matter is they conceded that the portrait they received is only worth $600,000 yet they are suing Ryan for twelve million for his portrait, that just shows the greed that's what this case is about.”
Marty saying there is further evidence of the University’s greed, “Farrah Fawcett was an artist…She cared about her art being shown at The University of Texas, so what has The University of Texas done? They got her art work in February of 2011, it is now December 2013. In thirty four months The University of Texas has not shown one of her pieces…It’s greed, they couldn’t care less about what the student did.”
Lawyer Todd Eagan pointing out that Warhol created two nearly identical pictures, one for Farrah and one for Ryan and it was not an isolated incident, in fact Andy gave his and her gifts to Farrah on more than one occasion, “He also gave ink drawings, one to Miss Fawcett of an eye and one of lips to Mr. O’Neil. Mr. Warhol gave matching or very similar portraits of the Statue of Liberty, one to Mr. O’Neil, one to Miss Fawcett. In fact, Mr. Warhol gave a joint piece of art as a sort of montage of art on a table cloth or a napkin and it’s inscribed, it says to Farrah F and Ryan O.”
Marty also sharing how he thinks Farrah would have thought of all of this if she was alive, “She would have ripped up her will and said I’m not even going to give you my art work. If she knew how greedy they were she would rip up her will and even disassociate herself with this school.”
“Extra” also uncovering this exclusive video taken in Ryan O’Neal’s home in the 1980’s where you can clearly see the Warhol Farrah gave him hanging in his home. You can also see Farrah happily cooking in the kitchen along with and Ryan with their son Redmond.