The battle rages over the estate of the Painter of Light Thomas Kinkade, as his mistress Amy Pinto-Walsh yesterday claimed famed commercial artist left her his mansion and millions of dollars.
Amy Pinto-Walsh recently produced a shakily-written will that states she is entitled to Thomas Kinkade’s Monte Sereno, California, mansion and an additional $10 million to start a museum at that location, as well as another $66.3 million in original artwork and collected paintings.
Nanette Kinkade, the artist’s wife of 30 years, has been fighting Amy Pinto-Walsh in court in a bitter struggle for the painter’s will. The two are due in court today in what will undoubtedly be the next chapter of an agonizing spat.
Amy Pinto-Walsh claims the barely-legible will was written by the 54-year-old Thomas Kinkade on November 18 of last year and gives her control over his two properties nestled in Monte Sereno, a wealthy neighborhood in Los Gatos.
The document, originally obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, was scribbled on what seems to be a piece of paper from a legal notepad.
It reads: “I, Thomas Kinkade, being of sound mind and body do hereby bequeath to Amy Pinto Walsh $10,000,000 in cash from my corporate policy.”
Thomas Kinkade also wrote that Amy Pinto-Walsh should have his two properties on Ridgecrest Avenue “for her security”.
It is signed and dated November 18, 2011.
Thomas Kinkade, who died of an accidental Valium and alcohol overdose in April, was dating Amy Pinto-Walsh at the time of his death.
He was married to Nanette Kinkade for more than 30 years and had four daughters together.
Amy Pinto-Walsh, who was called a gold-digger by the estranged Nanette Kinkade, said after the painter’s death that the two were planning to wed after his divorce was finalized.
In April, lawyers portrayed 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.
The restraining 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.
The artist’s bodyguard – 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”.
“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.”
She didn’t make any attempt to hide her frustration either, as she filed a restraining order against his mistress shortly after his death, wanting to stop her from breaching a confidentiality agreement she signed more than a year ago.
The so-called Painter of Light used to estimate that around one out of every 20 homes in America.
His 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.
Thomas Kinkade died of accidental acute intoxication from alcohol and an anti-anxiety medication, an autopsy report revealed.
The Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office reported Thomas Kinkade’s cause of death as “acute ethanol and Diazepam intoxication” and manner of death as “accident”, according to NBC Bay Area.
Diazepam is the active ingredient in name-brand drug Valium.
Thomas Kinkade, whose works captivated millions of Americans despite the scorn of many art critics, died in April at his home in Northern California at the age of 54.