Thomas Kinkade is dead. But the fight has just begun.
The wife and family of the popular Bay Area-based painter, who died earlier this month at 54, have filed a lawsuit attempting to silence his live-in girlfriend, according to documents obtained by The Los Gatos Patch.
Los Angeles-based attorneys representing the Kinkade Family Trust filed suit on Friday and will appear in court Tuesday. They are hoping to convince a judge that Amy Pinto-Walsh -- Kinkade's live-in girlfriend of 18 months-- should undergo a total blackout, according to the Patch. She was with the artist when he died, made the 911 call and is still living in the artist's mansion.
The suit was filed on behalf of Kinkade's wife, Nanette, and the couple's four children as well as the artist's estate, the Patch reported. If it is successful, Pinto-Walsh will be barred 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,'" The Patch reported. Pinto-Walsh would also be barred from speaking to the media or otherwise revealing any information at all.
Kinkade was said to have lapsed into alcoholism before his death. The works by the painter, a self-proclaimed Christian, may stand to lose value if other lurid details leak out.