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Tussle Over $1.4 Million Warhol Painting

(CN) - A woman came "out of the woodwork" to demand the $1.38 million from the auction of a diamond-dusted Andy Warhol painting, 20 years after she refused to repay the loan another collector extended so she could buy the painting in the first place, the second collector claims in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Stephen LaChapelle claims that in 1990 he loaned Nancy Bishop $25,000 to buy the 1981 Warhol painting, "Portrait of Linda Cossey With Camera," an 8-by-6½-foot canvas with silkscreen, paint and diamond dust.

LaChapelle says he loaned Bishop another $25,000 to $35,000 to store the painting at Crozier Fine Arts in New York. The loans were all "based on a handshake" or a handwritten note, according to the complaint.

In 1992, LaChapelle says. Bishop sent the painting to his house in Santa Monica as collateral for the loans, along with three smaller Warhol paintings.

Though LaChapelle says Bishop never repaid a penny of the loans, he says he let a man sent by Bishop take back the three smaller paintings.

In 2009, LaChapelle says he sent "Portrait of Linda Cossey With Camera" to New York for $7,000 in restoration work and to have it auctioned at a Christie's subsidiary.

In February this year, Christie's sold the painting for $1.38 million, LaChapelle says. Days before the sale, Bishop appeared, claiming to be the rightful owner of the painting, according to the complaint.

Christie's refused to hand over the money, insisting that LaChapelle and Bishop settle their dispute with a written agreement or court order, according to the complaint.

Bishop demands a declaration of his ownership. He is represented by David Steiner.

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