The University of Texas gave actor Ryan O'Neal an honorary degree in stealing Friday when it sued the actor for keeping a portrait of Farrah Fawcett that it alleges she had willed to the school. But the "Love Story" star claims the portrait belongs to him.
"This is a completely ridiculous lawsuit," says O'Neal's spokesman Arnold Robinson. "When Ryan introduced Farrah to Andy Warhol, he chose to complete two portraits of her, one for Miss Fawcett and one for Mr. O'Neal."
Even though Fawcett left nada to O'Neal in her will, if Robinson's statement is true, the "Charlie's Angel" star never owned the portrait so could not pass it on to her alma mater after her demise.
O'Neal would be a candidate for stupid crook of the year if he were trying to hide the $30 million portrait from the college. After the school hired a private detective to find the missing art work, the actor literally flaunted it on TV -- allowing cameras to show it hanging over his bed in the first episode of his new OWN cable reality show, "Ryan & Tatum: The O'Neals."
The lawsuit by the University of Texas follows another legal skirmish involving O'Neal and his merry-go-round romantic partner, Farrah Fawcett -- the feather-haired poster girl who died of anal cancer in 2009.
Ryan's Story or Farrah's Story?
A film maker sued Ryan O'Neal in 2009 for hijacking his documentary of Farrah Fawcett's final months. Craig Nevius claimed he and Fawcett -- who sought medical help for cancer in Germany -- wanted to make an artistic film that focused on the flaws of existing cancer treatments in the United States.
Instead, O'Neal had a fast fading Fawcett sign papers that turned control of the movie over to him. The final cut of the movie minimized the medical angle and focused more on Fawcett's personal life, including her re-kindled relationship with O'Neal and a shocking scene in which Fawcett and O'Neal's shackled son Redmond visits his mother's hospital room from prison.
Adding to the drama of the Nevius lawsuit, which was ultimately dropped, was an alleged threat that O'Neal threatened to kill the film maker if he did not co-operate with him by handing over control of the movie. O'Neal later claimed his comment "I'll kill you" was a "joke," but his adversary may have taken the actor seriously since O'Neal was arrested once for shooting a gun in a dispute with his son, Griffin.
More From This Contributor:
Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network here to start publishing your own articles.
- Farrah Fawcett
- Ryan O Neal
- alma mater
- Andy Warhol
- honorary degree