ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) – The caretaker accused in a lawsuit of isolating Robert Indiana and taking advantage of him before his death is suing the pop artist’s estate for $2 million to cover his legal fees.
Jamie Thomas worked for Indiana for three decades and serves on the Star of Hope foundation, which aims to transform Indiana’s island home in Maine into a museum to display his work. The lawsuit contends Thomas was trusted by the artist and “fought to secure his artistic legacy.”
But Thomas and another man are accused in a federal lawsuit filed in New York of insinuating themselves into Indiana’s life and making unauthorized reproductions of his work.
The lawsuit was filed the day before Indiana’s death on May 19, 2018, at age 89 on Vinalhaven Island, 15 miles (24 kilometers) off Rockland.
Thomas contends that the actions he undertook at Indiana’s request made him legally vulnerable and that Indiana expressed his wish “to protect Mr. Thomas at all costs.” His lawsuit against Indiana’s estate was filed Friday in Superior Court in Rockland.
The estate of Indiana, best known for this “LOVE” print, is currently valued at about $66 million — virtually all of it artwork.
James Brannan, attorney for the estate, said Monday that Thomas shouldn’t be reimbursed because of breach of his fiduciary duties. He said he’d be filing a counterclaim.
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