Wednesday, January 27, 2021

In My Opinion

Throughout 2003, I interviewed Bob and Bunny Ullman and collector Bill Self. Bob Ullman was adamant I not write a word about his father's tenure as Valentino's executor without those probate court records in hand as proof of his father's performance. Bill Self knew I was looking for those records and knew they were missing from their rightful location in the Los Angeles County Hall of Records. As I interviewed, traveling back and forth between the Ullmans and Self, it was a delicate dance to find those missing records.

I have written many times how those missing records were tracked from collector to collector and how the Valentino family exchanged one of Valentino's shirts for the entire file. This was all confirmed by Tracy Terhune, Donna Hill, Bill Self and explained again recently by Cindy Martin.

The tragedy in this situation is that so many aspects of George Ullman's true, and stellar, performance as executor were hidden from public review. The further tragedy is that many aspects of Valentino's life and business were, and still are, also hidden from public review.

I did recover some one thousand pages of the file as official court copies but the entire file is still hidden away by the Valentino family and any collector who might have made copies. Again I ask, “Why hide them if there is nothing to hide?” Pretty obvious to me what is going on.

One of the most fascinating aspects I discovered in that file of copies was the story of Cosmic Arts, Inc. Some of this history was told through the book keeping records, some through the extracts of the court-ordered audit conducted and some through the direct testimony. (Below) I share a bit of George Ullman's testimony relating to the establishment of Cosmic Arts, Inc.... Valentino's first corporate alter ego.

I am 100% sure there is still a wealth of unknown information hidden away in the hoards of collectors and the Valentino family. In my opinion, this does no one any service and is a total shame.