Artnet News’s Eileen Kinsella offers some clues to the de Sole-Knoedler settlement. Many have asked why it took four years for a settlement to come in the third week of the trial.
According to Kinsella, Knoedler’s lawyer suggests they were waiting for Ann Freedman to take her share of the responsibility for the loss:
Charles Schmerler told artnet News that it was “a fair, reasonable and good settlement,” and added that he was pleased to see the settlement with Ann Freedman, which happened this past weekend and had enabled today’s agreement.
Asked about several other pending lawsuits against Knoedler and Freedman, which allege near-identical claims, Schmerler said those cases were moving forward and that his team would continue to represent Knoedler.
As to the size of the settlement, Kinsella has this:
The De Soles, who spent $8.4 million on the painting and millions more in ensuing legal fees, were seeking $25 million.
However, in a surprising revelation that came yesterday, during testimony by former Knoedler CFO Ruth Blankschen, it was revealed that the gallery had settled a lawsuit brought by hedge fund manager Pierre LaGrange, for a fake Pollock for which he paid $17 million, for a mere $6.4 million.
Kinsella points out that the Pollock had been partially owned by another collector but it is clear Knoedler and the Hammers have been successful in reducing their exposure.
Knoedler Fraud Trial Settles (artnet News)