The University of Texas is appealing a jury’s verdict that Ryan O’Neal is the owner of one of the Farah Fawcett portraits Andy Warhol created. The odd part of the story isn’t the university’s tenacity over the portrait but the appraisal they’re working with. $12m is far more than any celebrity portrait by Warhol has ever achieved.
The university had spent $1.15 million in legal fees and expenses as of the end of March to recoup the painting, according to data the university provided to McClatchy under the Texas open records law. The fees and expenses have been paid to the Houston law firm of Beck Redden LLP since the case was filed in 2011. O’Neal’s lawyers and the university’s lawyers are still slugging out the last remaining issues that surround splitting the costs of the trial, with a hearing set for May 2.
The painting, according to lead attorney David Beck, is appraised at $12 million.
The university has a $1.3 million limit authorized by the University of Texas Board of Regents to secure the painting.