A New York City couple is suing an exclusive Upper East Side private school for more than $400,000 after saying they were duped into buying a finger painting by a classroom of kindergartners for $50,000.
Socialite Michelle Heinemann and her investment banker husband Jon say they were out of town and asked a proxy to secure the "art" that was among the items auctioned off at a Cathedral School of St. John the Divine benefit.
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According to The New York Post, which first reported the story
, the Heinemanns figured the bidding would go no higher than $3,000. Instead, they claim, the school stuck them with a $50,000 bill, saying that officials gamed the system by having a first-grade teacher bid up the price.
Officials at the school, where tuition reportedly runs $39,000 a year, could not be reached for comment, according to media reports.
The couple is pulling their kids out of the school and demanding that Cathedral School of St. John the Divine pay for their education — plus a chauffeur, the Post reports. A lawsuit details how poorly their kids were allegedly treated.
“On one occasion, plaintiffs’ 5-year-old son was relegated to the role of ‘door-holder’ and ordered to hold the door for all of the other students,” the lawsuit states.
Social networking sites were being bombarded by comments.
“Everything about this makes me want to throw up -- Wealthy UES Parents Sue School Over $50K Fingerpainting,” tweeted @kristinereese.
“The [d—e] levels in this story are unreal. Couple sue school for a fingerpainting they paid $50,000 for,” quipped @bellamackie.
The New York Post says the $50,000 piece of art comprises finger-painted, cut-out paper hands of the Heinemanns' son, Hudson, and his 17 classmates, that were posted on paper, “along with each child’s written answer to the question, 'How do you feel when you are around art?’”
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