Self-proclaimed Painter of Light Thomas Kinkade left behind some warring women when he died nearly three weeks ago.
Though Thomas Kinkade had separated from his wife about two years ago, they were still in the process of getting divorced when he died of natural causes at 54.
New reports allege that Thomas Kinkade had planned to marry his live-in girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh, as soon as he was finally divorced from his first wife Nanette, with whom he had four daughters.
Thomas Kinkade and Amy Pinto-Walsh had been dating for about 18 months at the time of his death.
“Amy was already part of his circle of friends and that really enraged Nanette,” an unnamed source told Radar Online.
“Nanette was furious and humiliated that he not only cheated on her, but moved on so quickly and publicly with her.”
Nanette Kinkade didn’t make any attempt to hide her frustration either, as she filed a restraining order against his mistress shortly after his death.
She wants to stop Amy Pinto-Walsh from breaching a confidentiality agreement she signed more than a year ago.
Nanette Kinkade fears Amy Pinto-Walsh will attempt to sell her story and could release private family photographs.
Thomas Kinkade was one of the most successful artists in the U.S., but he struggled with alcoholism before his death at the age of 54, and split from his wife Nanette in 2010.
He used to estimate that around one out of every 20 homes in America.
Thomas Kinkade’s estate – of which Nanette Kinkade is the principal trustee – has filed documents with a Santa Clara court seeking an injunction against Amy Pinto-Walsh, according to Los Gatos Patch.
Its attorneys argue that the painter’s mistress, who is still living in his mansion in Monte Sereno, California, is planning to disclose information which would breach a confidentiality agreement signed in February 2011.
The restraining order would ban Amy Pinto-Walsh from saying or doing anything which would make Thomas Kinkade, his wife or his business “appear in a negative light or false light”.
Amy Pinto-Walsh would also be prevented from writing or contributing to any sort of book, article or other publication about the late artist.
In particular, the lawsuit seeks to stop her divulging personal information which she found out “as a personal assistant and companion to Thomas Kinkade”.
While it is not clear what exactly prompted the legal battle, the suit alleges that Amy Pinto-Walsh told a family friend that she intended to sell the story of her relationship with Thomas Kinkade and release unseen photographs of the painter.
The suit continues: “The release of these items would be personally devastating not only for Mrs. Kinkade, but also for the family’s four daughters, who are grieving the sudden loss of their father.”
The family also fears that Amy Pinto-Walsh could jeopardize Thomas Kinkade’s business empire, which relied on the production of prints and reproductions as much as original paintings.
They say she had access to “trade secrets” such as the artist’s painting techniques and computer programmes, and could try to sell them on to others.
Amy Pinto-Walsh, who had been in a relationship with Thomas Kinkade for 18 months before his death, told Los Gatos Patch at the time that the painter “had a heart condition”.
Nanette Kinkade’s lawsuit cites this revelation of a “non-public health condition” as one breach of Amy Pinto-Walsh’s confidentiality agreement.
The suit also says that Thomas Kinkade died on the night of April 5, which contradicts previous reports that he was found dead the next morning.
While the artist was phenomenally successful and extremely wealthy, Thomas Kinkade apparently suffered from a drinking problem throughout much of his life, and in June 2010 was arrested for DUI.
Thomas Kinkade was also saddened by constant attacks on the quality of his work by art critics, and devastated by his divorce from Nanette.