Monday, February 22, 2010

We settle the fight between Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett's production partner Craig Nevius over "Farrah's Story"

Outrage over Ryan O'Neal producing a sequel to the NBC special Farrah's Story that includes his and Farrah Fawcett's troubled drug addict son Redmond? The storm began even before Farrah's death last June, when Craig Nevius, Farrah Fawcett's production partner on her cancer documentary, A Wing and A Prayer, sued O'Neal, O'Neal and Farrah's longtime business manager Richard B. Francis and Farrah's friend and documentary camerawoman Alana Stewart for pushing him out of the project that became the controversial Farrah's Story. Last month, O'Neal fired back as Francis sued Nevius on behalf of Farrah's estate.

We contacted Craig Nevius, asking for his reaction to this latest twist-- and with an idea for settling at least one part of the sad saga. He responded via email.

What's your reaction to Ryan O'Neal's sequel to Farrah's Story?

I’m sure that any project Ryan or Alana may produce will be of the same quality that most of us have come to know and expect from both of them.

What are the chances of you getting a copy of the original footage and the rights to produce and release the original A Wing and A Prayer director's cut that Farrah wanted made? Would that settle things?

First, let me correct the premise of your question (and a growing misconception born out of the lawsuit that “Farrah’s Estate” filed against me last month): there is no such thing as a “Director’s Cut” of A Wing and A Prayer. While I am (and have always been) the director of the film, every edited version was the “Executive Producers’ Cut.” Meaning it was not only my work but Farrah’s work as well.

The idea that I was working in a vacuum and then, suddenly, after almost two years of editing, simply “presented” her with “my version” is as ridiculous as it is untrue. Anyone who ever got to know Farrah, let alone got the chance to work with her, knows that control was not something that she easily gave up, much less gave into (if someone else tried to exert it). And while Farrah had many talents, biting her tongue was not one of them. She always insisted that people around her “say what you mean and mean what you say.” And she did the same. In my experience, Farrah rarely changed her mind.

Even though Farrah couldn’t be in the editing room on a daily basis, we spoke almost every day, usually several times a day, often for hours on end. And we screened new scenes and/or sequences together every two or three weeks (unless she was in Germany, but even then we tried to speak once a week even if it was at 4:30 in the morning Los Angeles time). Changes to the film were made based on her artistic vision as well as her medical condition: which means both her triumphs and setbacks dictated our direction. She was, after all, still living the “story” we were telling.

"Farrah never wanted this project
to be about death.
She wanted it to be about
the fight for a chance at life."

But what she made clear to me early on was that if it suddenly became apparent that the end was near, we needed to make sure that the story in the film ended first. Because Farrah never wanted this project (or its promotion) to be about death. She wanted it to be about the fight for a chance at life. That’s why we chose to use “I Run For Life," Melissa Etheridge’s inspirational anthem to cancer patients everywhere, near the end of the documentary. Farrah’s video diary was never supposed to rely on talking heads to narrate the story, much less reminisce about her in the past tense. It was not to be a tribute and it was certainly not meant to be a eulogy. Farrah knew that there would be plenty of those on The Today Show and Entertainment Tonight and if the worst were to happen.

So what about the question we asked: What if you were allowed to release that original documentary so the pubic can have both?

My lawsuit is asking the court to declare that the Sweetened By Risk Agreement (signed by Farrah and by me) is our company’s only legally valid (and therefore controlling) operating agreement. If that is the court’s finding, then yes, A Wing and A Prayer will be seen by the world. But until that time comes, the only audience likely to see it will be the judge and jury.

And that’s only because the accusations made by Richard Francis in the estate’s lawsuit against me made the quality of the work relevant-- when it was not necessarily relevant before (in my lawsuit for contract interference). At least that’s my understanding of it. But you have to remember, my only law degree comes from watching Boston Legal.

Would you accept that?

Yes. My lawsuit has always been primarily about two issues: my rights and my responsibility. That’s how Sweetened By Risk’s Operating Agreement reads. It clearly states that if Farrah becomes unable to function for any reason (including and specifically illness), I not only had the right to make all business and creative decisions for our company, I also had the responsibility to do so.

So you see, even if I wanted to settle for something less than completing the film as Farrah intended, I really couldn’t. At least not if I wanted to live with myself.
Sure, money would be great. But I know that it wouldn’t last nearly as long as the guilt I would feel for selling out Farrah. She fought too long and too hard for me not to do the same.

Has the other side offered to settle with you for money?

Whether they did or not, I wouldn’t be able to talk about it.


It sounds simple enough: Show us the movie. Farrah's fans, O'Neal's supporters, and the world will only be richer for getting even more insight into Farrah, and seeing her ordeal through her own eyes.

The lawsuits would be settled and everyone involved could be satisfied that Farrah is indeed "resting in peace."

Ryan? Bernie?


Anonymous said...

GET A LIFE MULLET!!!!! You are a fucking sad sack who got bagged so get over it. I am bored by your B.S. as are most of the people on this site.

Tabloid Baby should rename itself farrahfawcett.com cause that's all it writes about!!!

Devius SUCKS and is so weird and obsessed. Loser!

Anonymous said...

My only question, and has been for a long time, when is the court date?

When does the judge get to see "A Wing And A Prayer" to decide on the contract dispute?

Is there a court date yet?

As for our eloquent first poster here

Mr./Ms. Anon 7:36

"Suck It!"
Ryan would like that

Anonymous said...

As much as i agree that the SIGNATURE in question does not look like Farrah was in her right mind when it was signed, i think they would have had PROOF that Farrah knew what she was signing, it might have been filmed - or perhaps witnesses there ? I would think and HOPE, they did nothing wrong, fingers crossed. Of course its bad news for Craig, but we will all find out once the JUDGE/jury decides. HOPEFULLY, they can back up this signature with PROOF !

Anonymous said...

Craig speaks from the heart and you can see that.
I do not think this guy is lying at all.

Oh look at the first post on here,it's from the ever so kind Keith Sundae.
Keith if Ryan and Alana are the good guys in this,then why all the anger and insults?
Craig sounds cool calm and collected,unlike you who is full of GUILT AND ANGER!
The truth scares you guys...That's why you resort to such a low level. Keith your anger will eat you alive it's already happening.
Karma misses no one and you and your two partners in crime better fasten your seatbelts because when it comes knocking it's not going to be pretty!
Come on people just read what and how Keith posts,it's hate and guilt! And a FEW of you continue to tell yourselves that these are good people?

Anonymous said...

Again, only 1 side of the story. I agree with you, 8:40, I'm sure that the signature thing was probably witnessed. This Bernie Francis was a lawyer, right? Farrah's lawyer? I think he would have everything in order.

Anonymous said...

That's what makes a lot of this hard for me to believe. Craig himself says here "control was not something she (Farrah) easily gave up". She made this Francis person the trustee in her will back in 2007--when she was very much still in control. So, she trusted this man with EVERYTHING. So, I believe everything he's doing is what she wanted.

Anonymous said...

The very first post is inmature and ugly. The guy is telling his side and immediately attacked by some bully. Whoever it is should quit reading this site and others and quit posting.

It obviously is way to upsetting for him/her. It is up to the courts and Nevius makes that point in the piece!

But, to lay into the guy does make this person sound very quilty of something. Maybe he/she would like to stop the hate posting and tell the public what is really behind his/her posts? I would really like to know. This will be setteled by the court and no matter who is the winner or loser, this posting person is constantly calling everyone from Tabloid Baby down a loser.

Seems to me like you are the loser here!

Anonymous said...

First Anon,
You must have a REALLY good reason for your 'intense dislike' for Craig--putting it mildly. Can you share? We get that you don't like his hair already! I wish someone with some real knowledge of what's going on would post. I'm tired of this same shit over and over: Tabloid Baby says: "Craig is great! He tells the truth!" Then the Anonymous person says: "Craig's a liar. Get over it, Mullet". I'm bored. Does ANYBODY OUT THERE KNOW ANYTHING??

Anonymous said...

People... Need to meditate this:


I have a letter, familiar paper
I keep a figurine in the locket
It's dedicated, engraved initials
Yellow photograph in a pocketbook

Well the rim of her mouth was golden
Her eyes were just desert sands
But that's not her!
That's just the light
It's only an image of her
It's just a trick of the light

She sent me letters, gave me directions
Name of the street where I should turn
And then she stood out front, wrapped in her bath towel
Yelling. "Once you leave boy, you can't return"

I was beating o her like an anvil
Beating her out of original shape
With that same old panic caught on her face
I copied the image of the ancient embrace

You remind me very much
Of someone that I used to know
We used to take turns crying all night
Oh, but that was so long ago now


Anonymous said...

Quick LOOK!

They're writting about something else!

Anonymous said...

Good Anon Feb 22nd 7:36 PM!
Im glad somone is letting the public know what Ryan and Alana are really like and what they tried to pull.
Do not trust either one and hope Craig wins this battler for farrah's sake.
A Wing And A Prayer-The Real Farrah Story!

Anonymous said...

Making fun out of someone's hair?

Anonymous said...


Whole bunch of stuff NOT Farrah


See Tabloid Baby's not obsessed

Can't say as much for some of you though

Anonymous said...

REALLY! I guess Ryan O'Neal hasn't sneezed or farted wrong this week--no 'breaking' news.

Anonymous said...

Does it strike anyone as odd that 'all of a sudden' Ryan O'Neal was untrustable to Farrah?? She's know this guy, like, FOREVER. Don't you think she knew him well enough to trust him or not? Why did she go back to him over and over? You guys don't give her much credit. It's not like he is one of those creepy 'relatives' that show up out of nowhere when someone's dying....she kept him around forever...BY CHOICE. Give it a break already.

Anonymous said...

P.S. She's had a lifetime to figure out if she wanted this guy around or not--(in 'good' state of mind AND 'not'). So, it looks like she did. Leave them alone.

Anonymous said...

"The Truth Will Come Out", and when it does, Richard B. Francis (NOT a lawyer), Ryan Patrick O'neal, and Alana Hamilton $tewart will more than likely, if Justice EVER prevails in this story, be easily found behind bars.

NEVIUS is not "devious". As for the Defendants- GUILTY AS CHARGED, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Just THINK ABOUT IT...the hideous three, Alana $tewart-with exactly WHAT qualifications to do ANYTHING?????, Richard B. Francis, LLC, a person who has been named "Defendant" in numerous Fraud cases, and Ryan Who? Father of the Year? Farrah didn't seem to think so.

"Bernie" and Ryan are business partners-Ryan the silent one, not simply one of Francis's "clients". MI$$ $tewart-well, if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck...it's a duck!

Find confidence in the facts-the Truth will come out, the Truth will come out.