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Maine's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Maine | NewsCenterMaine.com

Trial begins in lawsuit over Portland art museum bequest

A civil trial has begun over the museum's claims that a deceased benefactor's caretaker manipulated her into removing the museum from her will.
Credit: Portland Press Herald
Annemarie Germain listens to opening arguments with her attorney Gene Libby on Monday at the Cumberland County Courthouse. The Portland Museum of Art has sued Germain, saying she manipulated a wealthy benefactor to remove a large donation from her will.

PORTLAND, Maine — A civil trial has begun over a Maine art museum's claims that a deceased benefactor's caretaker manipulated her into removing the museum from her will.

The Portland Museum of Art's lawyer contends Annemarie Germain isolated Eleanor G. Potter from her family and longtime attorney after moving in with her.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Potter was a wealthy art collector who changed her will months before her March 2015 death at age 89, leaving Germain most of the estate.

A previous will left Potter's home to Germain, money to Potter's family and remaining assets to the museum estimated to be up to $2 million.

Germain's lawyer says she and Potter were close and that Potter's attorney pressured her to donate to the museum. The trial will continue all week.