While some art can be labeled priceless, one finger painting created by the students of a ritzy Manhattan private school, Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, has a tangible value thanks to an auction that saw the piece go to the highest bidder... for $50,000.
The problem, though, is that the highest bidders were Michelle and Jon Heinemann, who weren't present at the auction and had instructed their proxy to win that particular bid.
Beautiful blonde-about-town Michelle Heinemann and her investment-banker hubby, Jon, have sued the school for $415,000 plus damages for allegedly conspiring to rig a fund-raising auction and then sticking them with a $50,000 bill for their “winning bid.”
Trouble was, the dashing couple — whose son, Hudson Cornelius Heinemann, attended the school — had said they would bid only $3,000, tops.
The Upper East Side couple is accusing the school of driving up the price of the painting and sticking them with the bill.
But the school’s director of advancement had a first-grade teacher named “Ms. Bryant” drive the bid up to “the outrageous sum of $50,000,” the suit alleges.
“The Heinemanns tried to settle this matter without a lawsuit, but the cathedral had no interest in taking responsibility for their actions,” said family spokesman R. Couri Hay.
Now, The Heinemanns are seeking damages to cover their son's tuition at a new posh school, forfeited fees for their younger daughter, and the salary of their son's $60,000/year chauffeur because, rich people. [NY Post]