Thomas Kinkade’s widow, girlfriend in fight over estate

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Hearings in the dispute between Thomas Kinkade’s widow and girlfriend over the late artist’s $66 million estate will not be conducted behind closed doors — at least for now, a judge ruled on Monday.

Kinkade’s widow, Nanette Kinkade, had sought to keep the matter private, asking Judge Thomas Cain to immediately send the case to an arbitration panel and not open probate court.

But Cain rejected that request, saying he was being asked to make findings based on very limited information, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

At the center of the dispute are handwritten notes that Thomas Kinkade’s girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh, says bequeath her his mansion in Monte Sereno and $10 million to establish a museum of his paintings. She was living with Kinkade and found his body when he died in April.

Nanette Kinkade, Kinkade’s wife of 30 years, disputes those claims and is seeking full control of the estate. She and Kinkade were legally separated when Kinkade, 54, died of an accidental alcohol and Valium overdose.

“We’re pleased that (the judge) is going to keep this matter in the probate court,” Sonia Agee, Pinto-Walsh’s attorney, told KGO-TV outside court. “We think it’s the right place for it not only for Ms. Pinto, but also for the public interest.”

The case was continued until Aug. 13.

Pinto-Walsh was present in court. Nanette Kinkade was not.

“She wants to keep things as private as she can for herself, her family, her girls, and that’s what Thom wanted,” Dan Casas, the attorney who appeared on behalf of Nanette Kinkade, told KGO-TV.

Kinkade, the self-described “Painter of Light,” was known for sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes. His work led to a commercial empire of franchised galleries, reproduced artwork and spin-off products that was said to fetch some $100 million each year in sales.

In recent years, however, he had run into personal difficulties, including a 2010 bankruptcy filing by one of his companies and an arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence that same year outside Carmel.

Pinto-Walsh’s lawyers filed court papers June 11 stating that she and Kinkade had planned to marry in Fiji as soon as his divorce went through.

Nanette Kinkade has painted Pinto-Walsh in court papers as a gold-digger who is trying to cheat the artist’s rightful heirs. After Kinkade’s death, she obtained a restraining order prohibiting the other woman from talking publicly about the artist. That confidentiality agreement is also the subject of the court proceedings.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Pair of intrepid musicians climb N. Cascades summits to play

Rose Freeman and Anastasia Allison pack their instruments up mountains for high-altitude recitals.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein (left) and Elizabeth Reed, of Snohomish, share something humorous during an interview at Reed’s Snohomish High School Class of 1942 reunion in September 2016. Muhlstein is marking 20 years as a columnist, with about 3,000 of them published in The Herald. Counting her early days as a reporter and editor, she has been with The Herald for 36 years. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
3,000 stories in 20 years: Here are some of my favorites

As a Daily Herald columnist, I’ve met remarkable people and learned much since 1997.

Most Read