According to CBS News on Feb. 15, actor Ryan O'Neal wins an appeal ruling in a defamation case. The lawsuit was in connection to a man who claimed that O'Neal stole a valuable portrait owned by the late Farrah Fawcett.
The decision came in a divided panel that eventually decided that O'Neal's case should proceed on, claiming that he has the chance to win some damages against the defendant, Craig Nevius. One justice disagreed and felt the case should be dismissed.
The lawsuit came when Nevius allegedly made comments to Star magazine and on "Good Morning America," accusing O'Neal of stealing the portrait. Nevius was Fawcett's personal assistant and said that O'Neal, Fawcett's ex, stole a valuable Andy Warhol painting. After Nevius made the statements, the University of Texas sued O'Neal and demanded the painting be returned to them because Fawcett left her entire art collection to the university.
The University of Texas demanded the painting or $30 million, which is an estimated cash value of the painting.
Nevius tried to block the lawsuit using California's SLAAP statute, protecting public speech, but the trial court denied the motion. Nevius appealed, and once again, Ryan O'Neal wins the appeal. Now, the entire case returns to a trial court.
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Shawn S. Lealos is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, the professional film critics’ organization of Oklahoma. He is also working on a book about the Stephen King dollar babies called “Dollar Deal.” To read more of his writing, visit shawnlealos.net.