Lucian Freud’s Illegitimate Children Sue Over the Late Artist’s Will

Lucian Freud in 2010 Photo: Stephan Agostini/AFP/Getty

Legendary painter Lucian Freud was prolific both as an artist and as a womanizer who fathered two daughters in his first marriage, as well as 12 illegitimate children by four mistresses. Now, one of these illegitimate children, a teacher named Lucy Freud, has come forward in hopes of getting a piece of the $159 million will that she was left out of. The Daily Mail reports that Lucian was a predictably absent father, and that he and his daughter had no contact for 15 years.

In 2011, after hearing the artist was in poor health, Lucy Freud payed a visit to her father. She said of the encounter: “He stroked my cheek and cuddled me as if there had never been such a distance between us. He made me feel as if I was very important to him. He listened to me with such focus and delight. And then he asked me at the end of the visit, could I come back. I felt as if I had been waiting all my life to hear him ask that of me. It meant everything.”

Despite the apparent rekindling of a father-daughter relationship, when Freud passed away in July, 2011, Lucy and her three siblings were excluded from the will entirely, resulting in a challenge mounted in High Court by Lucy’s brother, Paul. Freud’s assistant David Dawson was given over $4 million, as well as Freud’s home in North Kensington. The expectation among the 14 siblings was that the remainder of the assets would be divided equally among them. Freud’s daughter Bella told the Daily Mail that her father was “not the kind of man to exclude anyone.”

Paul Freud claims his father may not have left specific instructions to the trustees, which would mean the money in question was never the subject of a will. Lucy supports her brother’s challenge to the will, stating, “with such a big estate it seems unjust not to distribute it equally between the children.” 

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