Billionaire Neumann's Arrest on Family Feud Over Pricey Art Collection Is Akin to HBO's 'Succession'

Billionaire Neumann's Arrest on Family Feud Over Pricey Art Collection Is Akin to HBO's 'Succession'
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Sotheby's

The drama surrounding American art collector Hubert Neumann and his family's incredible art collection is straight out of HBO's Succession. Hubert was arrested in December 2018 after his son-in-law, Jeffrey Donnelly, called the authorities on him amid a family feud over their art collection, accusing him of a "shoulder shove." In an interview with The Post, the now 90-year-old billionaire recalled spending the night in a freezing cold cell surrounded by vermin. Two other men in the cell asked the old man, "Hey man, what are you doing here?" and he reportedly answered, "My family put me in jail." To this, the two cellmates asked him, "What kind of family you got, man?" 

With the controversies that followed, Hubert's youngest daughter, Melissa Neumann, who remains close to her dad, said the show Succession reminded her of her own family situation, so much so that she "had to stop watching it as it hit too close to home." 



Hubert Neumann has an astounding collection of premium art ranging from Picasso, Miró, and Matisse to Warhol and Koons, which he began collecting with his late father Morton. Hubert has a knack for befriending artists and recognizing their talent before they make it big. He still buys works from up-and-coming artists and is building a collection that he sees as a legacy. However, his second of three daughters Belinda Neumann is determined to get him thrown out of the two trusts he oversees. Hubert is afraid that if she ever succeeds, she will be quick to insensitively sell off all the arts that he and his father collected over five decades. 


In 2021, it was revealed that the family is fighting over a George Herms sculpture after previously falling out over Basquiats. It was also said that Hubert's arrest had something to do with the fact that he was a wife-beater, which was an accusation that was made by his daughter Belinda. There was also a fight over ex-wife Dolores's will. Hubert claimed that the will was secretly changed before her death to give Belinda 80 percent of the estate and the other two daughters the remaining 20 percent.

A spokesperson for Belinda told The Post, "Hubert’s physical abuse of Dolores is just one element of his 40-plus years of fraud and criminality which is alleged and will be proven in ongoing litigations."



In response to the above statement, the attorney for Hubert, Jay Itkowitz said, "The subject here is why daughter Belinda and her husband Jeffrey Donnelly would cause an 86-year-old father and grandfather to be arrested a few days before Christmas 2018 because of an alleged ‘shoulder check’ by Hubert Neumann, as stated on Jeffrey Donnelly’s police report. As a result, Mr. Neumann was kept overnight, and he had to sleep on a concrete floor for his own safety in an NYC jail."

Hubert also said that Belinda, her husband Jeffrey and their three children moved into his home back in 2012 and had paid him no rent. The couple, on the other hand, claimed that they were asked to move in. There was reportedly a fallout with Belinda's family when Hubert asked her to share her mother's estate equally with her sisters. 



Belinda and Jeffrey were set to be thrown out the month after Hubert started eviction proceedings against the Donnellys. However, the family obtained a temporary order of protection, accusing him of threatening them with physical harm. 

Later, the cops told Hubert that he had violated the protection order and he was taken to a precinct near his home. On February 6, 2019, Jeffrey withdrew his complaint without giving him the chance to present evidence that the case was false. In April, the NY Appellate division denied Jeffrey's bid to appeal the eviction, and Belinda's family was asked to move out and pay $24,282.57 in rent. Despite going through so much Hubert says, "I still love my three daughters, including Belinda. I just want peace and love in my family."

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