LOS ANGELES (CN) – Rita Wilson seeks declaratory judgment that she need not pay an art dealer $75,000 for a 1962 poster of the Beatles that she wanted to buy for her husband, Tom Hanks. Wilson says that when she asked for a certificate of authenticity, dealer Melissa Pearl became abusive and demanded $300,000 for her “time and trouble.”
Wilson says she agreed to buy the poster in July for $75,000, but asked for a certificate of authenticity. She says Sothebys informed her that the poster was overpriced, but she was willing to go through with it because Pearl told her it was in great condition. Pearl allegedly was selling the poster on behalf of its owner, Phil Cushway. Both Pearl and Cushway live in San Francisco County, according to the complaint.
Wilson says that when her representative asked Pearl for a certificate of authenticity and a notarized statement of sale from Cushway, “Pearl became belligerent, stating that she and Cushway did not have time to provide those items and demanding the Wilson immediately accept the poster without any certificate of authentication or notarized statement from Cushway. In an effort to force Wilson to accept the poster and pay $75,000, Pearl, individually and as the agent and representative of Cushway, demanded that plaintiff pay Pearl an additional $300,000 for what Pearl absurdly characterized as her time and trouble to obtain the evidence reasonable requested by Wilson that the poster was authentic,” the complaint states.
Wilson asked the Superior Court to declare that “Because defendants were unable to satisfy the contingencies for the sale of the poster, and due to the outrageous and utterly baseless demand that plaintiff pay and additional $300,000 for the poster, no agreement was concluded by plaintiff to purchase the poster, nor is plaintiff otherwise obligated to accept the poster from defendants.”
She also wants costs of the lawsuit.
Wilson is represented by Lavely & Singer.