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Andy Warhol painting of Farrah Fawcett: Jaclyn Smith weighs in

In a tearful plea in front of cameras, Jaclyn Smith said Monday an Andy Warhol painting of Farrah Fawcett rightfully belonged to Ryan O’Neal.

“I think the most important thing would be imagining what Farrah would want,” Smith said outside a Los Angeles courthouse. “I really feel Farrah would want that portrait with Ryan.”

The actress, who said she and Fawcett were friends long before they worked together on “Charlie’s Angels,” showed up to hear the closing statements of a civil trial in which the University of Austin at Texas is attempting to claim the portrait for its Blanton Museum of Art.

"The love of her life was Ryan,” Smith said.

Fawcett, who died of cancer in 2009, bequeathed her artwork to the school. O’Neal, 72, contends he was friends with Warhol and the painting in question was first promised to him in a phone conversation.

“[Andy] said [Farrah] could keep the portrait he was going to paint for her, and I said, ‘Good,’ and he said he would give one to me, too,” O’Neal testified earlier in the case.

The university, which already received one of the Warhols, is now after the other one that currently hangs above O’Neal’s bed in his Malibu home.

Smith had an emotional encounter with O’Neal and Fawcett’s son, Redmond, during a court break. She gave the 28-year-old a hug and said, “Your mom raised you right,” then began crying. She said seeing Redmond made her miss Fawcett. 

Later, she spoke highly of the Warhol painting.

“It’s her soul, it’s her eyes, it’s her hair, it’s everything she is,” Smith said. “I always describe Farrah as this 8-by-10 glossy, you know, the combination of this beautiful girl and the girl next door and that portrait captures that.”

Smith said she believes O’Neal will prevail. “In Ryan winning, Farrah wins,” she said.

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Corina.knoll@latimes.com

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