Close pal to issue Farrah Fawcett book next month

LOS ANGELES Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:28pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A close friend of late "Charlie's Angels" star Farrah Fawcett will publish her personal diaries about the actress' three-year struggle with cancer next month.

"My Journey with Farrah: A Story of Life, Love and Friendship," by Alana Stewart, will come out on August 11 -- less than two months after Fawcett succumbed to anal cancer on June 25. The book is thought to be the first insider's look at Fawcett's illness.

Stewart, the ex-wife of rocker Rod Stewart and a friend of Fawcett's for 30 years, said she was encouraged to go into print by Fawcett herself and by Ryan O'Neal, the "Love Story" movie star who was Fawcett's long time companion.

"Farrah had originally encouraged me to write this book. It was her idea. However, while I was contemplating my decision, her health took a turn for the worse, and I could no longer seek her advice," Stewart said in a statement.

"So I turned to Ryan O'Neal. He was so positive and so supportive. 'You have to do it', he said emphatically. 'There will be lots of people writing books about her. Yours will be the truth, and it will be a wonderful tribute to her. You have to do it!'", she said.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Farrah Fawcett Foundation to support cancer research.

Fawcett told her own story in a heart-wrenching video diary of her last three years that was broadcast on U.S. television in May as the actress entered the final few weeks of her life in seclusion at her Los Angeles home.

Alana Stewart's book will be published by William Morrow, a unit of HarperCollins which is owned by News Corp.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)