Updated: Thomas Kinkade's Girlfriend Loses Open Court Battle

Amy Pinto-Walsh wanted a court to hold a public airing of her claims that the painter's estate allegedly violated a medical directive and that she's not subject to a confidentiality agreement.

A judge ordered Friday that a binding arbitration panel will privately hear the claims of the late artist Thomas Kinkade's girlfriend that his estate violated a .

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Leslie C. Nichols ruled the validity of a  will not be litigated in open court but heard in a private binding arbitration proceeding.

The judge also ruled Pinto-Walsh's claim that the estate violated the medical directive when she was prevented from arranging for the disposition of his remains will also be decided by the three-judge arbitration panel outside of the public view.

"Both these issues will now be decided by the arbitration panel and not the court," Pinto-Walsh's attorney Douglas Dal Cielo said.

Pinto-Walsh, however, will still appear for a public hearing in Santa Clara County Probate Court July 2 when a claim regarding the validity of so-called holographic wills will be heard.

Kinkade died the morning of April 6, setting off a legal battle between his estate and Pinto-Walsh.

Her attorneys contend Kinkade, in a two barely legible hand-written notes, gave Pinto-Walsh an opulent mansion in the small enclave of Monte Sereno, next to Los Gatos, a studio next door and $10 million to run a museum that would showcase his original artwork.

Kathleen M. Blomquist, a Kinkade estate spokeswoman, emailed Los Gatos Patch a response to the judge's ruling, stating that Kinkade and his wife Nanette initiated and approved a joint estate plan that was final and up-to-date at the time of his death.

"The estate is subject to this formal, written, and irrevocable plan, and it will contest any other purported estate planning documents," Blomquist wrote in the email.

"Ms. Pinto-Walsh signed a confidentiality agreement with an arbitration clause in February 2011 at the express request of Mr. Kinkade who was concerned about his daughters' privacy, and we are pleased that the court will allow the estate to carry out his wishes by granting our petition to compel arbitration," Blomquist said.

Update: 3:30 p.m., June 15: Dal Cielo said Friday it would take a minimum of between four and six months for all the claims related to the Kinkade estate to be decided by the courts.

"Normal practice is to have everything done in open court and they (Kinkade estate officials) filed those declarations that tarnished her personal and professional reputation and now they want everything to be confidential," Dal Cielo lamented. "I don't think that's equitable, but I understand and appreciate the court's ruling."

Dal Cielo continued: "I don't consider it a defeat. It just means all the evidence will be heard in a different forum."

For Pinto-Walsh's attorneys, the big issue is the validity of the wills, which will be heard in open probate court, Dal Cielo said.

Asked how much his client believes she's entitled to from the painter's estate, Dal Cielo said she is due the $10 million supposedly referenced in the wills and $66 million in assets that he wanted to additionally give to her, including artwork.

Kinkade, one of the most profilic and successful American painters of modern art, died

Liberty November 19, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Everyone watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta's show on CNN tonight about the epidemic of overdoses due to prescription drugs in the US. Prescription drugs and mixing is now the #1 cause of accidental death in the United States, overtaking car accidents.
katie November 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Dear Nannette Kinkade fans! This woman is not a good mother or person... news flash her husband wanted out!!!! why? Nannette had 4 breast implants from plastic surgeons. Nannette had several affairs with both married and unmarried men. While she was busy doing that.... her daughter had plans of their own. Merritt Kinkade had a busy 2011 getting arrested for a DWI and arrested for assaulting her boyfriend because she was jealous. Then there is Windsor Kinkade arrested for shoplifting in 2010 and smoking pot in the family home causing a raging fire. With a role model like Nannette Kinkade jealous over Amy Pinto, desperately trying to hurt her in every way possible. Attacking her both publicly and privately by paying people to vandalize Amy's car. Like mother like daughters!
Jen December 15, 2012 at 04:50 PM
@Liberty - So what Nanette doesn't want her family laundry exposed to the world....who cares? Truth will prevail. What about you, "Liberty" why have you hijacked that word and what are you hiding? You and your buddy "Justice" here seem to be trying to sway people in this case and that's pathetic! I say get real or get off my planet!
Liberty December 15, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Look at the threats, intimidation tactics from these "Good Christian" right wing housewives right before Christmas too! Is it any wonder Romney lost? No one is fooled by their TRUE nature. Vicious housewives that are desperately trying to cover up the truth from the American public. I can imagine these brass knuckle, thug hypocrites from hell have all kinds of skeletons they are trying to cover up from the public about their wonderful Christian households.
Jen December 17, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Ah, wrong again! You don't even know me, but of course, you love to pass judgement on others without the facts. That's a dangerous thing to do...I only have one judge and it's not you! I pity any court case if you're a juror... geeesh....and you seem to get a huge thrill spewing your anti-housewife, anti-christian, anti-anything-you-don't-agree-with rhetoric everywhere, even where it doesn't belong. This isn't the blog for any of that...duh, remember? This is about truth and justice in the estate of Thomas Kinkade. God bless his family and may he rest in peace. Too many on locoweed here and life is too short, really!


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