The New York Daily News has the most comprehensive reporting on the funny, fascinating and, now cryptic case of the Imperial Jets executive who was trying to sell a Corot painting that he owned in partnership with others. The night the painting went missing–purportedly in a drunken haze–James Haggerty had tried to meet with another dealer who was spooked:
The artwork’s co-owner, Kristyn Trudgeon, isn’t buying James Haggerty’s tale. “I think he’s a complete fumbling idiot,” a visibly annoyed Trudgeon said outside her West Side apartment. “He’s just a complete a–hole.” Trudgeon and Tom Doyle, who co-own the painting, had hired Haggerty, an old pal, to assist with a possible sale of “Portrait of a Girl” to London gallery owner Offer Waterman. A July 28 afternoon appointment in Doyle’s Empire State Building office fell apart when the Brit wanted a closer look at the painting.
The men agreed to meet later at midtown bistro Rue 57 with Doyle,who then ordered Haggerty to take the painting to The Mark, which is on the upper East Side, for further inspection by Waterman.[…] At 11:30 p.m., the two men left the bar, retrieved the painting and had a conversation in the hotel lobby, court papers say. “Something just didn’t feel right and I didn’t want to be involved,” Waterman said. “So I said no, and I said goodbye.”