Legendary fantasy and comic artist Frank Frazetta has spoken publicly for the first time about the bitter family feud that came to light in December with a break-in at the Frank Frazetta Museum.
The artist's son, Alfonso Frank Frazetta, known as Frank Frazetta Jr., is charged with burglary, criminal trespass and theft after he allegedly used a backhoe to break into his father's museum in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, to steal 90 paintings worth about $20 million. Frazetta Jr. claimed he had been instructed by his father "to enter the museum by any means necessary to move all the paintings to a storage facility" to protect them from other family members.
In an interview this week with the Pocono Record, the 82-year-old Frazetta Sr. said he never told his son anything of the sort: "No, absolutely not. I don't know what the hell he was doing."
"My son is an alien," he told the newspaper from his home in Boca Grande, Florida. "There's no telling what he'll do. He's been like that for, I don't know, how many years. We played baseball in the old days. He always chose the opposite side from me."
As we reported last week, Frazetta Jr. has been sued by Frazetta Properties -- now managed by siblings Heidi Grabin, Holly Frazetta Taylor and William Frazetta -- in an attempt to prevent him from selling or reproducing his father's artwork and claiming to be his authorized representative. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for trademark and copyright infringement, counterfeiting, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and false designation of origin.
Frazetta Art Gallery, the website operated by Frank Jr. that sold lithographs, books, clothing and other merchandise based on his father's artwork, was taken offline shortly after the lawsuit was filed.
In the interview with the Record, Frazetta Sr. dismissed allegations made by Frank Jr., Frank Jr.'s wife Lori Frazetta and others that he's being held in Florida against his will and controlled by his other three children.
"I'm in my own home," he said. "I'm the only one who lives here. Yes, absolutely I'm under my own free will. My daughters don't tell me what to do. I'm a man of my own word."
The Record also reports that supporters of Frazetta Jr. will hold a candlelight vigil tonight outside of his home "to save Frank Frazetta Sr. and his artwork."