Actor Ryan O'Neal's efforts to reclaim an Andy Warhol portrait of his late partner Farrah Fawcett have been given a big boost after a judge ruled her former caregiver will be allowed to testify on his behalf.

The Love Story star is currently embroiled in a legal dispute over the valuable work, which he insists is rightfully his, while officials at a university in Texas allege the actress left the silkscreen picture to them, along with all her art, following her death in 2009.

Now Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William MACLaughlin has ruled that Fawcett's former nurse's assistant, Maribel Avila, should be added to the witness list. She only stepped forward last month (Nov13), after the deadline for potential witnesses to be declared had passed, after reading about the court battle in the press and realising her testimony could prove useful.

Avila, who worked for the Charlie's Angels beauty for two years from 2006, recently met with Judge MACLaughlin and recalled that Fawcett had told her the Warhol portrait in question belonged to O'Neal.

She is expected to testify before the jury next week (begs09Dec13).

Other witnesses who may appear in court for the art trial includes O'Neal and Fawcett's son Redmond and her Charlie's Angels co-star Jaclyn Smith.

O'Neal himself took the stand on Monday (02Dec13) and insisted he was not trying to hide the fact he took the Warhol painting, one of two he had commissioned from the iconic artist, from Fawcett's home following her death.