The long-term lover of Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O'Neal, has triumphed over the University of Texas in an emotional court conflict to maintain ownership of a painting of her by Andy Warhol.

The 'Charlie's Angels' star passed away at the age of 62 in 2009 after a lengthy battle with cancer, leaving her own art collection to her old university. However, when her partner of 30 years was found to have kept one of two portraits by famous pop artist Warhol after it was spotted in a reality TV show, the institution took action in a move O'Neal branded as 'simple greed'.

His defence stated that Warhol, who the couple had known for more than 10 years before the paintings were produced, had created one piece for both Fawcett and O'Neal meaning that one of them was not Fawcett's to give away. The pair, although had been in a relationship for a long time, were never married and lived in separate houses though had a son in 1985 named Redmond, who O'Neal plans to bequeath the portrait to.

Speculation that both paintings belonged to Fawcett arose because O'Neal had asked her to look after it when he was caught having an affair with another woman. According to O'Neal, the woman had subsequently told him she felt 'uncomfortable with Farrah staring at her'. He proceeded to reclaim the piece following her death, with the consent of her estate, as their relationship had rekindled four years after his indiscretion.

O'Neal tearfully told the jury: "I talk to it. I talk to her. It's her presence in my life and her son's life. We lost her. It would seem a crime to lose it."

Ryan O'Neal leaving a restaurant
Judge rules in favour of Ryan O'Neal's painting ownership