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Bitter Court Battle For Thomas Kinkade's $66 Million Estate Will Remain Public

//thomas kinkade estate battle

Jul. 2 2012, Published 10:00 a.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Reporter

The court battle over artist Thomas Kinkade's millions began on Monday with the judge ruling that it will not be conducted behind closed doors as his widow had requested.

Nanette Kinkade had asked to have the case kept private and for it to be sent to an arbitration panel and not open probate court but Judge Thomas Cain refused, and gave all involved a break from the Santa Clara County Superior Court in California until August 13, reported the San Jose Mercury News.

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As previously reported, Kinkade's wife of 30 years is fighting claims by his mistress, Amy Pinto-Walsh, that he bequeathed her his mansion in Monte Sereno and $10 million to establish a museum of his paintings.

The critically maligned but commercially successful artist, who battled alcoholism for three decades, had been legally separated from Nanette for two years before his death April 6. Pinto has said that she and Thomas were planning a Fuji wedding as soon as he divorced.

"You're asking me to make findings based on very limited information," Cain said to both parties during Monday's proceedings, which Pinto-Walsh attended but Nanette did not.

The basis of Pinto-Walsh's claim to the estate is two handwritten wills -- both barely legible. The first, dated November 18, 2011, states that Thomas Kinkade, "being of sound mind and body," bequeathed his house and $10 million cash to Pinto-Walsh.

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The second was written the following month and appears to amend the first, saying that along with the house, Pinto-Walsh should receive $10 million to establish a public museum of original artwork at the house.

However, Nanette's attorney Daniel Casas is disputing their validity, arguing that: "Either it's not Thom's handwriting or he was in a state where he didn't understand what he was doing.

"It's chicken scratch," he claimed.

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In April, the angry widow was granted a restraining order against Pinto-Walsh ruling that she was not allowed to speak out against Kinkade because as the Painter Of Light's former assistant she had signed a confidentiality agreement in 2011.


Thomas Kinkade's Widow And Mistress To Face Off In Court In Battle For His Millions

Thomas Kinkade's Mistress Claims His Estate In Handwritten Will

Coroner: Thomas Kinkade Overdosed On Alcohol, Tranquilizers

Thomas Kinkade's Wife Granted Restraining Order Against His Mistress



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