In a major win for Alec Baldwin, a New York Supreme Court justice has declined to dismiss his suit alleging art gallery owner Mary Boone sold him a counterfeit painting, finding instead that the actor had sufficiently alleged the gallery owner deliberately hid the fraud from him.
Mr. Baldwin contacted Ms. Boone when he was seeking to purchase an original painting by noted contemporary artist Ross Bleckner, but instead of the promised painting, the suit alleges, Boone delivered a counterfeit that she had fraudulently stamped with the gallery number from the original, for the purpose of deceiving him. Furthermore, when Mr. Baldwin asked about the painting’s odor, Ms. Boone lulled his suspicions by falsely telling him she had it “cleaned,” prior to delivery “as a courtesy,” since the previous owner was a “heavy smoker.”
Ms. Boone had sought to dismiss the fraud claims on the grounds that Mr. Baldwin filed suit against the gallery after the statute of limitations had expired. Justice Robert Reed, however, found the alleged acts to intentionally deceive Mr. Baldwin had effectively stopped the clock. The survival of the fraud claim means he can also seek punitive damages against the art gallery owner, the judge said.
“We look forward to proceeding to trial, where a jury will have the chance to judge Ms. Boone’s egregious fraud,” said Steven Feldman, who argued against Ms. Boone’s motion to dismiss in New York Supreme Court.
Representing Mr. Baldwin are: John Hueston, Moez Kaba, Steven Feldman and Daniel Vinson
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