As Farrah Fawcett clings to life, her longtime companion, Ryan O'Neal, and close friend Alana Stewart hosted an intimate screening of "Farrah's Story," an unflinching look at her struggle to overcome cancer, Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
"This is truly Farrah's evening. She wasn't up to making it, but she's here in spirit," Stewart, a producer on the project, told the audience while introducing the video diary, which will air nationwide on NBC Friday.
Hollywood friends Jacqueline Bisset, Melanie Griffith and Paul Le Mat, who starred with Fawcett in the 1984 TV movie "The Burning Bed," attended the screening, which, according to The Associated Press, drew applause and tears.
In an unusual twist, Craig Nevius, one of the documentary's producers is suing Stewart, O'Neal and O'Neal's business manager, over creative control of tomorrow's special. In his suit filed Wednesday, he claims that the trio interfered with his right to produce the documentary and that O'Neal threatened him.
Fawcett, 62, was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006 that has since spread to her liver. Today, the former pinup girl and "Charlie's Angels" star, known for her golden tresses, has lost that once-defining trait.
In the film, O'Neal revealed that during the first rounds of treatment, they did all they could to preserve her iconic blond locks. But in February, when Fawcett began chemotherapy and her hair began to fall out, she finally cut it all off.
Last week, O'Neal told People magazine that Fawcett's condition has deteriorated.
"She's in bed with an IV. They're not trying any great measures to save her," O'Neal said.
Reports surfaced that the always slender Fawcett had shrunk to 84 pounds. It's a claim her doctor refuted on ABC's "Good Morning America" in April.
"She is 101 pounds. She has challenges every day with the fight with cancer. As long as she is able to fight, she will keep fighting," said Dr. Lawrence Piro. Piro said Fawcett had a "reasonable weight" under the circumstances.
On Wednesday at the screening, O'Neal told the AP that Fawcett planned to watch Friday's broadcast of her story from her Los Angeles home.
"She's heavily medicated," O'Neal, 68, said. "We're going to take some of these medications down so she's lucid and sharp to watch herself. I think she'll take great pride in this."
Fawcett is in a "very rocky place," O'Neal said. "We put on a brave front, always, when we're with her. She doesn't know how scared we are."
That includes Fawcett and O'Neal's son Redmond O'Neal, 24, who has just been admitted into a court-ordered drug program.
Recently, Redmond, who has struggled with drug-related legal charges, was allowed to leave jail, where he was being held on a probation violation, to visit his mother.
"He crawled into bed with her in his jail jumpsuit and his shackles on, and he cuddled with his mother and cried," Ryan O'Neal told People magazine. O'Neal told Redmond not to rattle his shackles and to hide them from his mother.
In the film, O'Neal expresses his concern for how Redmond will be affected by his mother's death.
Viewers watching the film will be inspired by Fawcett's fight against cancer, according to O'Neal and Stewart.
"If you liked her, you're gonna love her" after seeing the film, O'Neal told the AP. "Farrah's Story" will show her "incredible strength," Stewart said. "Her big message to people is don't give up. No matter what they say to you, keep fighting."