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Thomas Kinkade Trust Seeks Restraining Order Against Late Painter's Girlfriend

A request for an injunction against the artist's girlfriend will be heard by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas Tuesday. Court documents say Kinkade died the evening of April 5.

Attorneys representing the s wife, Nanette, trustee and executor of the Kinkade Family Trust and the artist's estate, have filed a temporary restraining order against

In court documents obtained Friday afternoon by Los Gatos Patch at the Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, three attorneys with the Los Angeles-based law firm of Zuber & Taillieu LLP, said they are seeking the injunction to prevent Pinto-Walsh from disclosing information in breach of a confidentiality agreement she signed Feb. 25, 2011.

Kinkade, 54, was reported to have died the morning of April 6 in his Monte Sereno estate on Ridgecrest Drive. On Saturday, April 7, Pinto-Walsh gave a phone interview to Los Gatos Patch and said she was with Kinkade when he died, had called 911 at 11:30 a.m. and identified herself as Amy Pinto.

She also said she was Kinkade's live-in girlfriend, was with him for 18 months and that Kinkade had been separated from his wife Nanette for quite a while.

As to the cause of death, she said she wasn't supposed to divulge the information and that the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office would have more details in the next few days. "He died in his sleep ... He had a heart condition," she said.

The petition, to be heard by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Lucas, seeks to prohibit Pinto-Walsh from making statements or engaging in conduct that has the effect of defaming, criticizing, disparaging or discrediting Kinkade, Nanette Kinkade, or any company owned by Kinkade "to appear in a negative light or false light."

It also seeks to prevent Pinto-Walsh, who is living in the late painter's Monte Sereno mansion on Ridgecrest Drive, from publishing or assisting in the publishing of any book, article, review, notice, press release, advertisement, public or private communication or report concerning Kinkade, Nanette Kinkade or any company owned by Kinkade.

The order also states it wants to stop Pinto-Walsh from selling, trading, publishing, disclosing, producing, permitting access to or otherwise revealing proprietary information to anyone by means of photocopy, reproduction or electronic media.

Judge Lucas is set to hear the matter at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 24, in department 2 of the Santa Clara County Superior Court Civil Division, 191 No. First St. in San Jose.

According to court documents, the confidentiality agreement prevents Pinto-Walsh from revealing private confidential information about the Kinkade family and trade secrets held by the Kinkade family businesses, including Windermere Holdings LLC and Pacific Metro LLC, also known as The Thomas Kinkade Company, "which she learned in her role as a personal assistant and companion to Thomas Kinkade."

Kinkade died the night of April 5, the documents further state, in contradiction to what's been reported by media all over the world, including Los Gatos Patch. They also state that the next morning, Pinto-Walsh breached the confidentiality agreement by speaking to Los Gatos Patch about his "non-public health condition."

Furthermore, Pinto-Walsh "announced to a friend of the Kinkade family" that she intended to breach the agreement by publicizing confidential information about the Kinkade family and its businesses, including private photographs.

"The release of these items would be personally devastating not only for Mrs. Kinkade, but also for the family's four daughters, who are grieving the sudden loss of their father," the attorneys wrote.

Pinto-Walsh had access to trade secrets and commercially sensitive information of Windermere and other businesses owned by the Kinkade family and she has "threatened to release, it is very likely that she will misappropriate Windermere's trade secrets for her own purposes or disclose them to third parties."

To back up their arguments, the attorneys included in their petition declarations made by family friends Linda Raasch, Denise Sanders, Robert Murray and Lisa M. Lawrence.

Murray is the attorney representing Windermere Holdings and Pacific Metro.

Murray writes in his declaration that he's been present in meetings which Pinto-Walsh also attended, during which aspects of Kinkade companies' business plans, strategies, financial information and other private sensitive information were mentioned.

Based on Pinto-Walsh's relationship with Kinkade, she had access to information regarding Thomas Kinkade Studios' proprietary painting techniques, including paint type, brush techniques and the use of computer technology in painting, the records stated.

On April 9, a medical examiner at the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office said an

The order to appear for the injunction request hearing was to be served on Pinto-Walsh on or before April 12.

Opposition to it needed to be filed and served by personal delivery or email on or before Thursday, April 19, and any documents were to be delivered to the court by 10 a.m., Monday, April 23, the documents said.

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