Artist Accuses Hilton Daughter of Failing to Pay $10 million for Artwork, Osborn...

Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:38pm EDT

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Artist Accuses Hilton Daughter of Failing to Pay $10 million for Artwork,
Osborn Machler Announces
Artist says socialite carted away works without paying

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Socialite and member of the prominent
Hilton family Ann Hilton is the target of a lawsuit brought against her by
artist Alexander Presniakov alleging she stiffed the artist out of $10 million
in original artwork.

The suit, filed Aug. 10 in Los Angeles District Court, alleges that in Oct.
2008, Presniakov delivered several pieces of art to Hilton in her hometown of
Las Vegas per an agreement between the two. Upon receipt of the artwork and an
appraisal verifying the value, Hilton was to pay the agreed-upon price of $10
million but instead took the artwork without paying, the suit states.    

Hilton is the daughter of William Barron Hilton, the co-chairman of the Hilton
hotel chain. According to Forbes Magazine, William Hilton is among the
nation's richest men, with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion in 2008.

"Wealth and social standing may afford some people a bit of latitude in
behavior like bringing dogs into restaurants, but this is beyond the pale,"
said Sim Osborn, the attorney representing Presniakov. "We intend to help Ms.
Hilton understand the legal consequences of walking away with $10 million
worth of another person's property." 

Presniakov is a well-respected neo-classical artist who has achieved
international recognition for his paintings through his commissioned portraits
of Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and President Ronald Reagan. His works,
including paintings and sculptures, routinely sell for millions of dollars
each, and are included in collections throughout the world, including
Buckingham Palace. 

According to the suit, Hilton and Presniakov exchanged several drafts of the
contract for sale of the artwork and the signed contract was due when
Presniakov delivered the artwork to a third-party location for authentication.

"Alexander delivered the works as promised, but Ms. Hilton was a no-show,"
Osborn said. "We intend to show that Ms. Hilton arrived two hours later and
carted the works off without returning the contract, or paying Alex for his

The suit also names Hilton's husband John McAuliffe as a defendant.  

"Alex has made a number of appeals to Ms. Hilton, but she has ignored him,"
Osborn added. "At this point, Alex is concerned that the work could have been
resold, or stored in a condition that would damage the works."

Presniakov is seeking the full price of the artwork, $10 million as agreed
upon in oral contract, in addition to incidental damages.

About Osborn Machler
The attorneys at Osborn Machler represent plaintiffs in personal injury,
products liability, and professional malpractice cases. The firm represents
injured passengers and crew in airplane and helicopter accidents through its
aviation law practice. Osborn Machler is noted for taking difficult cases and
successfully taking them to settlement or trial. The firm has extensive
experience representing injured persons against federal, state, and local
governments. Because of the firm's litigation experience, Osborn Machler is
frequently called upon to prepare large cases for litigation. Attorneys at the
firm also represent clients in personal injury, premises liability, railroad,
professional malpractice and maritime cases.

    Sim Osborn (206) 441-4110        Mark Firmani (206) 443-9357
    Osborn Machler                   Firmani + Associates Inc.

SOURCE  Osborn Machler

Sim Osborn of Osborn Machler, +1-206-441-4110,; or
Mark Firmani of Firmani + Associates Inc., +1-206-443-9357,,
for Osborn Machler
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