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Hunter Biden’s art dealer has ‘opted not to’ renew contract

WASHINGTON — Manhattan art dealer Georges Bergès told Congress that he “opted not to” renew his contract with Hunter Biden after making $1.5 million in sales of the first son’s novice art to 10 buyers — leaving Hunter without a known vendor as House Republicans pursue an impeachment inquiry into alleged Biden family corruption.

Bergès said his contract with Hunter, 53, quietly lapsed on Sept. 1, 2023 — making it unclear who has repped the first son for the past 4 1/2 months as the impeachment inquiry digs into Joe Biden’s links to the ventures of Hunter and his uncle James Biden in countries such as China and Ukraine.

“We’ve discussed extending it. At the moment I opted not to,” the SoHo gallerist said last Tuesday in a closed-door interview with the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, according to a transcript reviewed by The Post.

Working with Hunter “hasn’t been the best decision for me,” Bergès testified. “I never expected the whole security issue or the death threats and people assuming political affiliation, which was completely wrong.”

“It was a little bit more than I could chew… obviously I kind of wanted my life back. So I haven’t agreed to renew that contract now,” Bergès said.

Manhattan art dealer Georges Bergès told Congress that he “opted not to” renew his contract with Hunter Biden after making $1.5 million in sales of the first son’s novice art to 10 buyers. New York Post

Bergès got a 40% commission from the sales — meaning Hunter pocketed roughly $900,000 in a period spanning more than two years, or roughly equal to his dad’s $400,000 annual presidential salary.

The art dealer began working with Hunter after being connected by Hollywood producer Lanette Phillips, who has hosted fundraisers for Joe Biden — with Bergès telling Congress he differs from Hunter Biden on politics but likes him as a person.

Bergès would only identify three buyers whose combined purchases amounted to 70% of sales — and confirmed that Hunter Biden knew who they were, contrary to prior reporting about a supposed White House-designed ethics plan to keep the names anonymous to prevent influence peddling.

Bergès said his contract with Hunter, 53, quietly lapsed on Sept. 1, 2023. New York Post

Hunter’s “sugar brother” Kevin Morris, a wealthy entertainment industry attorney who began showering Hunter with at least $4.9 million in gifts and loans to cover tax and personal bills shortly after meeting him at a late 2019 campaign event, paid $875,000 for 11 paintings in January 2023.

In an unusual arrangement, Morris cut a commission check to the gallery and credited Hunter’s payday against pending personal loans, Bergès said.

Only two other art buyers were identified: Democratic donor Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali and Bergès’ gallery co-owner William Jacques.

Naftali nabbed a prestigious presidential appointment after buying her first piece of Hunter’s art for $42,000 in February 2021, as well as repeated visits to the White House during the timeframe, and later paid $52,000 for a second piece. She has denied attempting to buy influence.

Jacques bought a painting for $40,000 in December 2020, another for $25,000 in February 2021 and a third for $32,500 in November 2021, his business partner said.

The seven other purchasers were not named by Bergès, who insisted their motives were not political.

A source told The Post that congressional Republican leaders intend to compel Bergès to reveal the additional buyers’ identities and then decide whether or not they should be made public.

The art sales have drawn concern from ethicists and politicians because Hunter previously engaged in lucrative dealings in countries where his father held sway as vice president, often introducing his powerful relative to the people who were paying him for ill-defined services.

Working with Hunter “hasn’t been the best decision for me,” Bergès testified. “I never expected the whole security issue or the death threats and people assuming political affiliation, which was completely wrong.” New York Post

Bergès told congressional investigators “I don’t know” if Hunter has sold any works since their business relationship ended. The final sale brokered by his gallery closed in November, but was verbally agreed upon earlier, he said.

Hunter still calls “a couple of times a week,” he revealed — including one day before his congressional testimony — and “I think he wants to obviously work with me, and but, you know, I also have to make business decisions.”

Among other points of frustration, Bergès said he found himself having to pay for Hunter’s art shows.

“I paid for them. Yeah, I’m still bitter about a lot of that stuff,” he said.

Bergès said he had to pay as much as $60,000 to throw an October 2021 Hollywood art show for Hunter that was attended by his father’s then-embattled nominee to be ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, in attendance while serving as Los Angeles mayor.

“I had to do all the framing. I had to do all the shipping. I had to expedite it,” he said.

Bergès said, “I took a gamble and it didn’t really pay off, but so that’s one of the reasons I haven’t really renewed the contract.”

Bergès got a 40% commission from the sales — meaning Hunter pocketed roughly $900,000 in a period spanning more than two years. New York Post

Republicans questioned how $1.5 million in revenue could be considered too paltry for a continued business relationship — with Bergès noting in reply that more than half of the sales were made to Hunter’s primary benefactor Morris.

“I’m trying to sell hi[s] art to multiple people, not just one,” he said. “I haven’t renewed the contract because I have to look at the totality of the sales.”

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Written by SaleemBaloch

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