Rauschenberg Trustees Respond to Foundation Lawsuit

Robert Rauschenberg.
Photo: © 2014 Patrick McMullan Company, Inc.

Three friends of Robert Rauschenberg said they’re “extremely disappointed” that the Rauschenberg Foundation is challenging a Florida judge’s $25 million award to them for overseeing his estate and are confident the payout will survive in appellate court (see “Rauschenberg Foundation Appeals $25 Million Payout to Artist’s Friends“).

“Instead of accepting the decision of a well-respected, disinterested judge, the Foundation seems determined to continue wasting its resources through an appeal,” Michael Gay, a lawyer for the trustees of the Robert Rauschenberg Revocable Trust, said in an e-mail.

Christopher Rauschenberg, the foundation’s chairman and the artist’s son, said he and other directors felt a responsibility to file the notice to appeal, on Wednesday, August 13, citing “serious concerns” about Florida Judge Jay Rosman’s August 1 decision. Gay, the trustees’ lawyer responded: “While the trustees do not yet know the basis for the appeal, Judge Rosman carefully considered all of the Foundation’s arguments and rejected them based on the controlling law in Florida.”

A year ago, Christopher Rauschenberg was quoted in the New York Times saying, “If a judge says $60 million is fair, we’ll put it behind us and continue with the charitable stuff.” He said in a statement late last night: “Ultimately we will of course respect the rulings of the court system.”

The trustees are Darryl Pottorf, an artist who assisted and lived with Rauschenberg for over 25 years; Bennet Grutman, the artist’s accountant for 18 years; and Bill Goldston, a Rauschenberg business partner.

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