Lawyers portrayed Amy Pinto-Walsh, painter Thomas Kinkade’s girlfriend, as a ruthless gold digger who is out to “tear down” the late artist’s reputation and do irreparable damage to his family, in a restraining order granted by a judge yesterday.
The order against Amy Pinto-Walsh claimed she broke a confidentiality agreement by talking to reporters the morning Thomas Kinkade was found dead and threatened to reveal his business and personal secrets.
Thomas Kinkade’s bodyguard, Dean Baker, – who drove him around after he was caught drink driving – said the family had reason to fear Amy Pinto-Walsh because she was prone to “impulsive and erratic” behavior and once threatened to “tear Mr. Kinkade down”.
Dean Baker was quitted in court documents and said he was witness to her behavior when he accompanied them on numerous vacations.
“On one occasion Pinto-Walsh made a threat to Mr. Kinkade along the lines of “I will tear you down. I would expect Pinto-Walsh to disclose confidential information,” Dean Baker said in his declaration filed on April 8.
A close friend of the family and godmother to the Kinkade children, Linda Raasch, left a similar declaration saying she was concerned about amy Pinto-Walsh’s motives, according to the Mercury News.
Linda Raasch said: “I told her releasing private and confidential documents would cause great emotional distress. But she was unmoved by my entreaties.”
However, the artist’s brother, Patrick Kinkade, said Amy Pinto-Walsh was a “good and sweet person” and was surprised at the restraining order.
Patrick Kinkade told the Mercury News: “Amy was Thom’s girlfriend. They enjoyed each other immensely. She’s a good person, a sweet person. She cared about Thom.”
The request for the restraining order said: “This threat is not just a mean-spirited act of betrayal, but a calculated attempt to garner money and fame at the expense of the grieving Kinkade family, including his wife and four daughters.”
Though the painter had separated from his wife, Nanette Kinkade, about two years ago, their divorce was not finalized when he died three weeks ago of what is believed to have been natural causes.
Thomas Kinkade was said to have been planning on marrying Amy Pinto-Walsh as soon as the divorce was finalized. They had been dating for 18 months.
“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 artist’s mistress shortly after his death, wanting to stop her from breaching a confidentiality agreement she signed more than a year ago.
Thomas Kinkade’s estranged wife fears Amy Pinto-Walsh will attempt to sell her story and could release private family photographs.
Thomas Kinkade, the so-called Painter of Light, 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.