Ryan O'Neal wins appeals ruling in defamation case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California appeals court says Ryan O'Neal's defamation case against a man who accused him of stealing a valuable portrait of the late Farrah Fawcett should be allowed to continue.

A divided panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles ruled Thursday that O'Neal has shown enough potential evidence against Craig Nevius, a one-time collaborator with Fawcett.

O'Neal sued in July 2011, claiming he was defamed by Nevius' comments that the actor had stolen a Fawcett portrait created by Andy Warhol. The painting is the subject of a separate lawsuit between O'Neal and the University of Texas, which claims Fawcett left the artwork to the school after her 2009 death.

Two justices ruled O'Neal may have enough evidence to show at trial that Nevius' comments were malicious.

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