Today's Sunday Times reports that Sir Paul's children Stella, and three their relatives are being sued for a share of the money raised from the sale of the art collection of their late maternal grandfather, Lee Eastman. Linda McCartney's father, a successful American lawyer, owned works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, including Picasso, Matisse, de Kooning, Rothko and Giacometti. The collection was sold at auction last November at Christies in New York city. An untitled 1977 abstract work called Untitled 1977, by Willem de Kooning, the Dutch artist whose business affairs were managed by Lee Eastman was sold for nearly £6m. Another de Kooning abstract from 1975 was sold for more than £2m. Picassos Buste de Femme, dated December 1939, was sold for more than £4m. A Giacometti bust sold for more than £2m. and a Matisse bronze, conceived in 1910 and cast until 1952, was sold for £850,000. The McCartney children's share of the profits from the sale are estimated to be about £4m each.
The law suit over the Eastman collection has been launched by Paul, Peter and Philip Sprayregen, the sons of Lee Eastman's second wife Monique from a previous marriage. Since their mother helped to build the collection, they claim that they are entitled to a portion of the money raised from the sale. The suit filed in the New York state supreme court in January states that:
during Lees lifetime, and after his marriage to Monique, the two of them accumulated a large collection of paintings from well known artists, many of which today have great value. That collection was always referred to as the collection of Lee and Monique Eastman, and was recently referred to by Christies as the Collection of Lee V. Eastman.
In addition to the McCartney children, the defendants in the suit include John Eastman, Lees son and executor, and two other relations.
In a statement issued yesterday, Stella McCartney said:
Unfortunately, as one of the seven beneficiaries of my grandfather Lee Eastmans estate, I had no legal say over the decision made by the estates executors.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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