Amy Pinto-Walsh, the woman at the heart of the multi-million-dollar Thomas Kinkade estate battle, released a public statement to Los Gatos Patch on Friday afternoon explaining why she can't speak to reporters.
"I appreciate that many people are interested in hearing my story. While I want to tell my story and address a number of things that have been said with which I disagree, my hands are tied at this time," Pinto-Walsh stated.
Kinkade, one of the most prolific and successful American painters of modern art, died Pinto-Walsh told the media that it was she who found the artist unresponsive and called for help.
Pinto-Walsh is under a court order preventing her from
In her latest statement, Pinto-Walsh said she plans to honor the painter's last wishes regarding his legacy.
"My sole objective is to carry out the last wishes of Thomas Kinkade. Thomas entrusted me with his legacy and I will do everything I can to ensure that I honor his wishes," the statement said.
On June 15, a judge ordered that a binding arbitration panel privately hear Pinto-Walsh's claims that Kinkade's estate failed to abide by a .
Pinto-Walsh is also set to appear in probate court on July 2 to prove Kinkade left her a Monte Sereno home, its adjacent studio, $10 million and all of his artwork to display for the public in a museum.
In her statement, Pinto-Walsh said she has "upmost faith in the judicial process, including without limitation, any judicial panel assembled to conduct an arbitration."
But she also said she would continue to fight for her disputes with the artist's estate to be held in open court. She said she would abide by the confidentiality agreement until it is set aside.
She thanked supporters, and added: "To those who have questioned my integrity, I only ask that you reserve judgment and allow the judicial process to proceed. I am confident in what the facts and evidence will establish."
Calls and emails to Kinkade trust spokeswoman Marcia Horowitz were not immediately returned Friday.
Pinto-Walsh, 48, wrote in an earlier legal filing that she met Kinkade in October 2010, about six months after his wife, Nanette Kinkade, filed for legal separation in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
At the time, Pinto-Walsh said she was working as a senior business development manager for ESG Consulting in Santa Clara.
According to the court filing and her Linkedin account, Pinto-Walsh received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1986 from the University of South Carolina and worked for numerous technology companies.
She describes herself in the documents as a career-driven woman who worked hard to achieve success.
Pinto-Walsh, who is of Indian descent, was raised in Kuwait and said Kinkade viewed her as a resource to carry out his expansive vision to spread his art globally.
On her LinkedIn account, she wrote that she helped top employers gain a competitive advantage by solving their consulting and full-time hiring challenges.
She has two children from a previous marriage, one of whom the painter helped when she became ill while she living with the couple in the Monte Sereno home.
Kinkade was married to his wife for more than 30 years and they had four daughters together. However, in the last two years of his life, he had become estranged from her.