A judge ruled Monday that the court dispute over the estate of renowned artist and UC Berkeley alumnus Thomas Kinkade will remain public and be continued in August.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cain ruled the case — a fight between Kinkade’s girlfriend of 18 months Amy Pinto-Walsh and legally estranged widow Nanette Kinkade — will stay in the open probate court and be moved to August 13 due to the limited information provided by both parties, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
“We’re pleased that (the judge) is going to keep this matter in the probate court,” said Sonia Agee, Pinto-Walsh’s attorney, told KGO-TV outside court according to the Associated Press. “We think it’s the right place for it not only for Ms. Pinto, but also for the public interest.”
Kinkade, a campus alumnus and Daily Californian cartoonist, died on April 6 in his home in Monte Sereno, Calif. from an accidental overdose on alcohol and Valium after an alleged relapse into alcoholism, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Pinto-Walsh has produced two handwritten wills leaving her Kinkade’s home and $10 million to start a museum honoring his art. Meanwhile, Nanette Kinkade — who was absent from court on Monday — claims full control of Thomas Kinkade’s $66 million estate, contests the validity of the handwritten wills and wishes the case to be moved behind closed doors, according to the Associated Press.
Kinkade’s official website states his love for his widow, saying, “Numerous paintings contain hidden “N’s” representing Thom’s lovely wife Nanette and many other paintings include the numbers 5282 as tribute to their wedding date May 2, 1982.”
Pinto-Walsh, however, filed papers to the court stating she and Kinkade had looked at engagement rings and were planning to wed in Fiji, according to the Los Angeles Times.