When Thomas Kinkade died three months ago, he left a widow, a mistress and an estate worth $60 million.
The critically maligned but commercially successful artist, who battled alcoholism for three decades, had been legally separated from Nanette for two years before his death April 6. Pinto has said that she and Thomas were planning a Fuji wedding as soon as he divorced.
She's also come forward with two handwritten wills that bequeath her $10 million, Kinkade's house and studio in the Silicon Valley suburb of Monte Sereno, and the right to create a Kinkade museum.
Nanette has moved to block all that and has called Pinto nothing more than a gold digger.
The Los Angeles Times reports that in papers filed by Pinto, her attorney stated, "Amy and Thomas were deeply in love. They both believed that fate brought them together to help each other through the difficult times they both encountered as well as to share their dreams of a life together."
Nanette's attorney says, not so fast. Her side claims Thomas' will was up to date, and that Pinto just wants to "misappropriate...trade secrets for her own purposes or disclose them to third parties."
The probate judge who will rule on the warring arguments Monday will do so in secret. The Painter of Light's estate is being decided under seal.
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It came as a shock to his many fans that Thomas and his wife, Nanette, had been separated for nearly a year before his death and that he'd been living with his mistress, Amy Pinto-Walsh, for the last 18 months — but those close to him knew all about it.
"They were planning on getting married as soon as the divorce was final," an insider told RadarOnline.com of Thomas and Amy.
"Amy was already part of his circle of friends and that really enraged Nanette. She was furious and humiliated that he not only cheated on her, but moved on so quickly and publicly with her."
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As we previously reported, Nanette requested a restraining order against Amy after the revered 'Painter of Light' died, to ban her from "defaming, criticizing, disparaging or discrediting Kinkade, Nanette Kinkade, or any company owned by Kinkade," but a source tells us Nanette just doesn't want Amy to reap any of Thomas' hard-earned rewards.
"Nanette is doing everything she can to make sure Amy won’t get a dime, mostly out of spite," the insider told RadarOnline.com.
"But Thomas treated Amy just like his wife. He adored her. They were very serious about their relationship and were just waiting to make it official. His friends really liked her."
Thomas was a recovering alcoholic who was convicted in 2010 of a DUI — much to the dismay of his large Christian following — and had fallen off the wagon, drinking heavily in the 24 hours before he died.
"Thomas was struggling with a serious drinking problem," the source said.
"And that was one of the reasons that his marriage began to dissolve."
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The Thomas Kinkade story just got a whole lot darker. The so-called Painter of Light, who died earlier this month, was secretly separated from his wife Nanette, and had been living with Amy Pinto-Walsh for 18 months at his mansion in Los Gatos, Calif.
Now Nanette Kinkade and the Kinkade Family Trust have requested a retraining order against the mistress.
Their request, to be heard by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Lucas on Tuesday, wants to ban Pinto-Walsh from "defaming, criticizing, disparaging or discrediting Kinkade, Nanette Kinkade, or any company owned by Kinkade," reports the Los Gatos Patch.
It also seeks to prevent Pinto-Walsh from publishing anything about Kinkade or his businesses, or about Nanette.
Pinto-Walsh, the court docs say, signed a confidentially agreement with the Trust in February, 2011, because she was working as the painter's personal assistant, and the restraining order is seeking to enforce that.
But it's alleged in the petition that she has now "announced to a friend of the Kinkade family" that she plans to go public with information about Kinkade and sell private photographs.
As RadarOnline.com reported, Kinkade died at age 54, and his sudden death triggered an autopsy. His family initially said he'd died on April 6. In fact, the restraining order reveals, he died on the 5th. And it has since come out that Kinkade, a recovering alcoholic, had fallen off the wagon and had been drinking heavily in the 24 hours before he died.
The final autopsy results are still pending.
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One of the most commercially successful painters of all time, Thomas Kinkade is dead at age 54.
Known as the Painter of Light, Kinkade died at his Los Gatos, California home on Friday.
Kinkade's paintings, which were reproduced on everything from postcards, calendars and coffee mugs, depicted scenes of a light-filled America with an emphasis on home, hearth and church.
His scenes of country gardens and landscapes in the morning light were beloved by many -- and are estimated to hang in 10 million American homes -- but were soundly criticized by the art establishment.
Kinkade was not without controversy.
His companies have been plagued by lawsuits for the last decade, and in that time the number of his franchised galleries fell by 50 percent.
In 2010, Pacific Metro, the production company that manufactured much of Kinkade's output, filed for bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reported. The filing came a day after the company was supposed to make a $1 million payment to two gallery owners in connection with a lawsuit.
A spokesman for Kinkade's family said his death was from natural causes.
"Thom provided a wonderful life for his family," his wife, Nanette, said in a statement. "We are shocked and saddened by his death."