Monday, July 18, 2011

O'Neal Sues Fawcett Assistant for Defamation in Spat Over Warhol Silkscreen

1975:  (FILE PHOTO) Studio headshot portrait o...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeActor and gossip tabloid favorite Ryan O'Neal last week filed a defamation suit in Los Angeless County Superior Court against Craig Nevius, personal assistant to O'Neal's late partner, actress Farrah Fawcett.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter's THR, Esq. blog, O'Neal's complaint seeks more than $1 million in damages and includes counts alleging defamation and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. O'Neal blames Nevius' comments to Star Magazine and on Good Morning America for prompting the University of Texas to sue O'Neal on July 8 for the return of a silkscreen portrait of Fawcett done by Andy Warhol reportedly valued at $30 million.

Fawcett left her art collection to her alma mater when she died of anal cancer in 2009, but O'Neal claims the artwork is his. O'Neal's complaint alleges the school's complaint against him is based on false statements by Nevius. The actor, currently appearing in a reality tv show with his actress daughter Tatum O'Neal, has accused Nevius of being "obsessed" with Fawcett and blamed him for leaking her medical records to supermarket tabloids.

Given the gossip-rich path his off-screen life has followed, in retrospect it was probably a bad idea for O'Neal to make his show business splash in TV's adaption of soap opera Peyton Place.

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