When Thomas Kinkade died on April 6th, he left behind a popular legacy of fine art paintings that earned him the nickname “the painter of light.” He also left behind an estate that may soon be occupying headlines, and one which has already resulted in a legal skirmish.
At the time of his death, Mr. Kincade had been living with his girlfriend Amy Pinto-Walsh. He was also apparently separated, though still married to, his wife Nanette Kinkade. It was Ms. Pinto-Walsh who made the 911 call reporting his death.
During that call, Ms. Pinto-Walsh apparently stated that Mr. Kincade had been drinking heavily the previous night. Mrs. Kincade, along with attorneys from the Kincaid Family Trust, quickly filed for a restraining order against Ms. Pinto-Walsh that prohibited her from saying more about the circumstances of Mr. Kincade’s death. Ms. Pinto-Walsh had been Mr. Kincade’s personal assistant, and as such had signed a confidentiality agreement. The restraining order claims that she violated the terms of that agreement when she revealed information about his death, and also claims that she threatened to reveal more personal information and details about how Mr. Kincade ran his business.
Though a California court granted the restraining order, it has not yet apparently been served on Ms. Pinto-Walsh, and representatives of the parties indicate that the conflict has been settled between them privately. Whether this legal battle will lead to more battles over the rather sizable estate Mr. Kinkade is assumed to have, only time will tell.