What would you do if you were entrusted with a $1.35 million painting? Would you... get wasted? That's what James Haggerty did when his art-dealer pals had him look after Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot's "Portrait of a Girl." Guess what happened!
If you guessed, "the night passed without incident," you guessed wrong. Haggerty was given the painting on July 28th; by the next morning, had disappeared. Haggerty says it was a drunken mistake, but the painting's owners, Kristyn Trudgeon and Tom Doyle, aren't buying it. It is a pretty fishy story:
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says hotel security footage at 10:54 p.m. shows Haggerty sitting at a table [at the Mark hotel] with the painting. Six minutes later, he left the painting at the hotel's front desk and entered its bar with [potential buyer Offer] Waterman...
At 11:30 p.m., the two men left the bar, retrieved the painting and had a conversation in the hotel lobby, court papers say....
Haggerty went back to the hotel bar at 11:34 p.m. and once more deposited the painting at the front desk. He resurfaced 90 minutes later, the suit says, when he stumbled out with the painting and a doorman asked if he needed a taxi. "No," Haggerty allegedly slurred. "I have a car."
At 2:30 a.m., he finally returned home to his Trump Place apartment, minus the painting.
So where is the painting? Who knows. I'm sort of hoping it's hanging on the wall in a cabbie's house in Flushing.