Tales From the Dark Side: UPDATE
Gulbenkian has been held in a Lisbon jail since December 2020 after evading UK authorities. Her trial has finally been settled as she was sentenced to three and a half years in prison minus the time she has already served. Gulbenkian married into a wealthy Russian family, which allowed her to gain the trust of more reputable individuals in the art world.
While pleading guilty to art fraud, her defense, or lack thereof, explained how Gulbenkian had the “best and honest intentions,” but, “the temptation was just too great,” once the money hit her account. After brokering a $1.3 million deal for a Yayoi Kusama yellow pumpkin, she blew the proceeds on “a £25,000 ($34,650) Rolex watch, £56,000 on artwork and a private jet flight. Her total expenditure between April 2017 and January 2018 was more than £1 million,” and ultimately never delivered the work.