The suit contends the late actress, a Texas alum, bequeathed the portrait to the school in her will and that O'Neal has, in effect, stolen it by keeping it after her death in 2009.
The school currently possesses one of the two editions of the Warhol portrait, which are composed of paint and silkscreen and were both given to Fawcett by Warhol. But the university says Fawcett's will left all of her artworks to the school.
"Obviously, the Warhol is the big-ticket item," said Barry Burgdorf, vice chancellor and general counsel for the UT system, told the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman. "We think it's quite valuable, but how valuable is hard to say."
A spokesman for O'Neal, Fawcett's longtime companion, told the American-Statesman Fawcett actually gave the portrait to O'Neal. It was seen hanging in O'Neal's California home on a recent episode of his new reality television series.