When Thomas Kinkade died in early April at the age of 54, his legacy as a widely popular commercial artist was firmly established. The man who called himself “the painter of light” left behind an estate worth millions. However, though the estate has not yet been submitted before a probate court, it has already resulted in a legal fight. Representatives of the Kinkade estate have filed for a restraining order against Ms. Amy Pinto-Walsh, the artist’s live-in girlfriend of the past 18 months.
Mr. Kinkade was still married at the time of his death, though he and his wife Nanette Kinkade had been separated for some time. Ms. Pinto-Walsh had been Mr. Kinkade’s girlfriend, as well as his personal assistant. Because of her position as Mr. Kinkade’s personal assistant, she had signed a confidentiality agreement. On the night of his death, Ms. Pinto-Walsh called 911 and stated that Mr. Kinkade had been drinking heavily the previous day. The restraining order claims that this was a violation of the confidentiality agreement. It also stated that Ms. Pinto-Walsh had made threats to reveal more personal information about Mr. Kinkade and his business practices.
A California judge issued a restraining order on April 16, though it expired on May 1. It does not appear that the restraining order was served on Ms. Pinto-Walsh, and the parties have since stated that they’ve reached an agreement over the dispute.