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Lawsuit filed over 'Farrah's Story' documentary scheduled to air Friday

May 14, 2009 |  2:50 pm

One of the executive producers of the documentary “Farrah’s Story” is suing actress Farrah Fawcett’s former boyfriend, best friend and others, alleging that they physically threatened him and took advantage of the actress’ declining health to seize control of the film.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, producer Craig Nevius accused actor Ryan O’Neal of attempting to force him off the project and threatening him when he refused to leave. Nevius also accused Fawcett’s friend, actress Alana Stewart, who filmed much of the footage in the documentary with Fawcett’s video camera, of “trying to take advantage of Ms. Fawcett’s condition to force Nevius to pay her more money and give her a different credit on the [documentary].”

The film on Fawcett’s battle with cancer is scheduled to be broadcast Friday night on NBC. A spokesman for O’Neal and Stewart criticized Nevius for the timing of the lawsuit.

“This has been a very difficult time for Ryan O’Neal,” Paul Bloch said. “When you see something like this, you have to question the motive of someone who can be so hurtful during this very sensitive time in a person’s life.”

According to the lawsuit, Nevius said he worked closely with Fawcett on the documentary for about two years. Fawcett requested the film meet certain criteria:

“That it not have ‘talking heads’ reminiscing about Ms. Fawcett in the past tense; that it not be about Ms. Fawcett’s relationship with O’Neal; that O’Neal not be a producer on the [documentary]; that Stewart receive a ‘co-producer’ credit on the program,” Nevius claimed in the suit.

Reached by telephone today, Nevius said he was filing the suit to “execute [Fawcett’s] artistic vision, and to safeguard her privacy to the extent that she wants it safeguarded.”

Nevius, who produced the 2005 reality series “Chasing Farrah,” said he and Fawcett had creative control over the film until her illness recently took a turn for the worse. He said O’Neal threatened to kill him when he declined to turn over control of the project to the producer of his choosing.

Bloch said O'Neal called the allegation "totally false.” A spokeswoman for NBC said Nevius is credited as an executive producer on the film.

-- Victoria Kim