By BILL HETHERMAN
City News Service
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A former friend of Farrah Fawcett testified today
that the actress told him that one of two portraits Andy Warhol sketched of her
in 1980 belonged to her longtime love, Ryan O’Neal.
David Pinsky said he met the former “Charlie’s Angels” star in 1994
while she was working on the set of the Chevy Chase movie “Man of the House”
in Vancouver. Pinsky said that at the time, he was engaged in entertainment-
related marketing for Motorola.
“We really hit it off and I became friends with her,” Pinksky said.
He said Fawcett said she considered him one of the five people she
trusted most in her life. O’Neal was among the other four, Pinsky said.
Pinsky said the actress said the Warhol portraits were shared between
her and O’Neal.
“She told me that she owned one and that Ryan owned one,” said Pinsky,
who is currently vice president of business affairs for “Dance Showdown” on
Pinsky said Fawcett was a smart businesswoman and knew that having
someone as famous as Warhol paint her portrait would help her career. Her death
hit O’Neal hard, he said.
“When Farrah passed away, he was devastated by her loss,” Pinsky said.
Pinsky said he knew O’Neal when Fawcett was alive and that his
friendship with the “
” actor grew after her death.
In other testimony today, an attorney for the trustee of the Farrah
Fawcett living trust said he made it clear to officials at the University of
Texas at Austin that they were entitled to only one of the two Warhol sketches.
Jeffrey Eisen represents Richard Francis, Fawcett’s former business
manager. Francis became trustee for the trust after Fawcett died of cancer in
June 2009 at age 62.
Eisen said he wrote UT officials advising them that the actress had
bequeathed to the school most of the art she either collected or created
herself. The items included the other Warhol painting of her that is now
displayed in a university museum.
Eisen said the school’s general counsel, Barry Burgdorf, wrote him in
May 2010 and asked about the other Warhol sketch, which actor Ryan O’Neal
removed from Fawcett’s Wilshire boulevard condominium shortly after her death
and now keeps in his Malibu home.
O’Neal and Fawcett had a longtime relationship that produced a son,
“I told him the second one belong to O’Neal,” Eisen said.
Eisen said Burgdorf knew the actor had the artwork.
Francis and the UT entered a settlement agreement releasing all claims
against each other in October 2010, avoiding a lawsuit, Eisen said.
The UT sued O’Neal, now 72, in August 2011, after the disputed Warhol
portrait of Fawcett was seen in his home during an episode of the reality TV
show “Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals.”
The school wants to put the O’Neal copy in the museum alongside the
other Warhol portrait.
Trial of the lawsuit is in its third week in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The six-man, six-woman jury also will decide whether a Warhol napkin drawing
that O’Neal is demanding from the school through his cross-complaint belongs to
him or the university.
Fawcett, born in Corpus Christi, Texas, attended the UT in the 1960s,
but left before graduating when her acting career took off.