Socialites Claim They Got Tricked Into Paying $50k for Finger Painting

By: Gawker Email
By: Gawker Email

Gawker A finger painting is at the center of an almost half-a-million dollar lawsuit after an Upper East Side couple claims they were tricked by their children's pricey private school into paying $50,000 for a finger painting by kindergartners.

Michelle Heinemann and her investment-banker husband Jon have sued the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine after they won a benefit auction with a bid far higher than they had intended to pay. They are also pulling their son and daughter out of the school, suing for money to relocate their children to a new school, as well as $60,000 to pay for their chauffeur to help bring their children to their new school.

The Heinemann's believe the school rigged the auction by having a first-grade teacher, “Ms. Bryant," drive up the bill to $50,000. Because the Heinemann's were out of town, and had given instructions to a proxy to be the highest bid, they believed the largest possible damage for a finger painting (which are priceless) would fall around $3,000. But Ms. Bryant desperately wanted that finger painting and drove up the price to that ridiculous figure.

“This is essentially a painting done by 5-year-olds,” explained a source to The Post. The Heinemann's son was involved in helping make the piece of art.

The school is standing by the validity of the auction, and have also tried to respond to the Heinemann's concern that their son was being treated improperly by the school.

Reads the lawsuit about little Hudson Cornelius's maltreatment:

“On one occasion, plaintiffs’ 5-year-old son was relegated to the role of ‘door-holder’ and ordered to hold the door for all of the other students.”

Hudson was obviously coming from a place of great pain while working on the piece of art, which is probably why it's so brilliant and wonderfully expensive.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, Trolling or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to comments@kbtx.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus
KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-188
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 213841631 - kbtx.com/a?a=213841631
Gray Television, Inc.