Family Feud: Man Loses $45K Painting to Brother in… a Coin Toss?

A Florida man is furious after losing a $45,000 painting to his brother in a coin toss.

Richard Barrett, 50, nephew of noted interior designer David Barrett, inherited half of his uncle’s $5.6 million fortune after the designer passed away in 2008, the New York Post reported.

The other half went to Richard’s brother, 49-year-old Alan.

However, after Richard lost “Jug with Lemon” by Fernando Botero, which he owned as part of his share of his uncle’s estate, he filed a lawsuit to get back the painting, “holding up payouts to the estate’s two executors and his sibling in the meantime,” the Post notes.
Richard Barrett lost to this painting, Jug with Lemon” by Fernando Botero, to his brother Alan in a coin toss (Image source:

The older Barrett brother even called his younger sibling to complain about the general distribution plan designed by the two co-executors, at one point leaving an obscenity-laced voicemail, according to surrogate-court documents.

The older Barrett reportedly threatened to send his bother and the co-executors “to the gallows” and “bury [them] under f***ing concrete.”

The documents show that a lawyer for the estate joked earlier that the two decided ownership of the painting with a coin toss because “King Solomon wasn’t available to settle the dispute,” the Post notes.

Steven Sone, one of the two co-executors, had a different take on how events transpired.

“I . . . kept [Richard] apprised of estate matters as long as he spoke to me without epithets,” Sonet said, according to an affidavit.

Richard Barrett argues that his lawsuit is about more than just getting back an expensive painting.

“This case is about more than my share of my uncle’s estate,” Richard said in a statement. “It is about my uncle, his legacy, his reputation and his family.

“I want the world to know what my uncle worked for, collected and accomplished in his storied career, and how he inspired others,” the statement adds.

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