A Manhattan man, hired by two old friends to assist in the sale of a painting, is now being sued for losing the Jean Baptiste Camille Corot masterpiece, which is valued at $1.35 million. According to the Daily News James Haggerty was entrusted with the painting by its owners, Kristyn Trudgeon and Tom Doyle, but says he lost it after having a few too many drinks at The Mark Hotel on East 77th Street.
The painting had a possible buyer, London gallery owner Offer Waterman, and on July 28th at a lunch meeting at Rue 57, Doyle told Haggerty to take the painting to Waterman at the hotel, so he could get a closer look. Haggerty followed orders, and surveillance footage at the hotel shows him sitting a table with the painting at 10:54 p.m., by 11 p.m. he was entering the bar with Waterman, but left the painting with the front desk.
Waterman, annoyed that Haggerty showed up without an appointment, sent the painting and its handler on their way just a half an hour later; he told the paper, "Something just didn't feel right and I didn't want to be involved. So I said no, and I said goodbye."
Haggerty spent another 90 minutes in the bar, before taking himself and the painting home in a car. Around 2:30 a.m., an hour and a half after he departed The Mark Hotel, he showed up to his apartment in Trump Place without the painting, and later that morning told the owners that he couldn't recall where he left it.
Trudgeon's lawyer says, "We're skeptical as to the explanation... we suspect anything." While Trudgeon told the press yesterday: "I think he's a complete fumbling idiot. He's just a complete asshole." According to the NY Post, Haggerty sat for a polygraph exam on August 9th and it found that "deception was indicated."