Kristyn Trudgeon, co-owner of the missing $1.4 million painting Portrait of a Girl, has withdrawn her lawsuit against art courier James Haggerty — who hilariously claimed to have lost the Jean Baptiste Camille Corot work after a drunken night on the town in late July — after she learned her co-owner isn’t who she thought he was. It turns out Thomas Doyle — the guy who allegedly paid Haggerty $25,000 to take the painting and have it valued — is a convicted con artist who was released from prison last year. Doyle, who is on parole, was convicted in 2007 of grand larceny for stealing a $600,000 bronze Edgar Degas statue and then reselling it to a New York art dealer. Trudgeon learned of Doyle’s past when she spotted a copy of his mug shot Wednesday morning.
It is unclear whether Trudgeon — who said she is “reviewing her options” — will seek criminal charges against Haggerty and Doyle. As of now, no police report has been filed for the missing painting, and police said that there is no evidence at this point that Doyle has broken any laws (“he could be considered to be a victim in this theft,” parole spokesman Marc Violette pointed out). If there’s anything to be learned from all this, it’s that if you hear a tale involving misplaced million-dollar paintings and wasted people, it’s a good bet there’s more to the story. That, and it’s probably a good idea to Google your business partners before going in on famous paintings with them.