Thomas Kinkade, working during a visit to Disneyland in 2004. (Karen de la Carriere )
The death of Thomas Kinkade earlier this month at the age of 54 left behind many unanswered questions. Now comes a report of a brewing legal skirmish between the popular artist's wife and his girlfriend.
The Los Gatos Patch in Santa Clara, Calif., recently reported that Kinkade's wife, Nanette, has filed a restraining order against the artist's live-in girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh. Kinkade was separated from his wife at the time of his death and was apparently living with Pinto-Walsh.
The documents filed by the Kinkade Family Trust, which were obtained by the website, attempt to prevent the girlfriend from making statements or engaging in conduct that would reflect negatively on Kinkade. They also prevent her from disclosing information on the Kinkade business. The artist's wife is a trustee and executor of the Kinkade Family Trust and the artist's estate, reported the newspaper website.
Kinkade had come under fire in the past for what some claim to be unfair business practices. In a 2006 Times report, some former gallery owners depicted Kinkade as a ruthless businessman who drove them to financial ruin.
The recent legal revelation adds a potential new twist to the circumstances around Kinkade's death. His family attributed his untimely death to natural causes, but results from an autopsy have not been released.
Kinkade's brother said in a report earlier this month that the artist had relapsed into alcoholism in the weeks prior to his death.
Kinkade was famous for his paintings depicting cottages, bucolic settings and scenes with Christian themes. Though he was immensely popular and apparently commercially successful, his work was often derided by critics as simplistic.
The Los Gatos Patch reported that a judge is scheduled to hear the matter on Tuesday.
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