While the above posts seem simple, to the point, well-concocted, etc.,there is MUCH more to the entire saga and that dirty laundry appears destined to be aired.
I would ask the moderators of ET to watch the thread carefully as it certainly has all the elements for disintigration into flames and even libel. I can provide the moderators with all backup evidence of the things I will write below.
The last 9 months have seen a withering negotiation between myself, Randy Bigham, and Lady-Duff Gordon's heirs over the return of the kimono. Most of it has no place being aired on ET or other public forums. I have prepared an extremely tedious and detailed account of everything that transpired from the time I was first shown the kimono in December of 2000 through last month, when all negotiations for its return to the family broke down irrevocably. This account has been given to a number of very strategic individuals/groups in the Titanic community. Also, I made certain through the whole 9 months that very strategic people in the Titanic community were apprised of every step taken, every email, every twist and turn that the process took. Those half-dozen or so individuals have read every email sent or received by me and can and will corroborate my own description of what has transpired. I also consulted an attorney for legal advice throughout the process.
For the purpose of this post on ET, I would point out that Randy Bigham is indeed at fault as he admits but it goes much further than errors in judgment and the question of provenance is still open as I have the letters sent to me by Randy when I bought the kimono--letters from Lady Clare Lindsay, great-granddaughter of Lady Duff-Gordon, who, at least at that time, believed it to be THE kimono. Furthermore, I have the long, original and detailed letter Randy wrote to me providing his definitive proof that the kimono was the kimono. Was there fraud involved here? Or have other elements forced him to change his tune? Or maybe he was correct all along. Significantly, over approximately 7-8 years, he has never waivered-- even once-- in his categorical statements as to the legitimacy of the item in question. There is even an example of this posted on ET in very recent months which mentions other corroborating evidence from a fellow researcher.
I have literally hundreds of emails between myself and the Duff-Gordon heirs and copies of emails that they both sent to Randy Bigham and received from him since November 30, of 2006. While I am willing to share these privately with interested parties, I will post a portion of one of them here. I have removed portions of the email addresses of the Duff-Gordon heirs.
From: "Caroline Blois" <[email protected]
View Contact Details Add Mobile Alert
To: "Phillip Gowan" <[email protected]
CC: "clare" <[email protected]
Subject: Re: .....
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 09:30:08 -0000
<<<<Is Mr. Joe F. Grubbs the district attorney in waxahachie - as I have
the point now following RBB's (note by PG: that's Randy Bryan Bigham) last e-mail that I am going to threaten
with that (note by pg: grand theft) but I have to get the wording c orrect. >>>>>>
Joe Grubb is the District Attorney for Ellis County, Texas and is the man that would be responsible for pursuing any criminal charges for crimes originating in Ellis County, Texas.
As early as February the heirs were threatening to pursue criminal charges up to grand theft against Randy Bigham for selling the kimono to me when it had been loaned to him. The threats to pursue either criminal or civil action against Randy took place over a torturous 9 month period with the family alleging that since the kimono had not been given to him, he had no right to sell it.
Indeed, the Duff-Gordon heirs have emails from Mr. Bigham (and I have a copy) in which he speaks of returning the kimono to them--as late as 2002 (keeping in mind that I purchased it in the summer of 2001). There is also a post on ET in which Mr. Bigham (prior to selling the kimono) states that he is in "temporary" custody of the kimono.
However in subsequent emails, and contrary to what is posted above, Randy continued to categorically state that the kimono was given to him by Lord Halsbury and that he at one time had proof but that had, unfortunately, been lost. And Lord Halsbury was conveniently deceased. At no time, until the above post by him, did he recant.
There are MANY--not just a few--emails in my possession in which the Duff-Gordon heirs are threatening to take action against Mr. Bigham over the entire deal and these threats continued until very recently.
Based on that it would be my belief that the above posts are some sort of "settlement" between Randy and the Duff-Gordon heirs, in which he would suddenly do an about face in return for all threats of criminal or civil action ceasing. Should anyone doubt that theirs is still not a "cozy" relationship, I can provide emails that will boggle the mind including another in which Mr. Bigham, writing to the Duff-Gordon heirs, spells out in detail his plans to make relevant posts on ET and then have "friends" post behind him in support of what he is claiming.
When it became obvious, last November, that everything that ever transpired between Mr. Bigham and myself concerning the sale of the kimono might be revealed to the Duff-Gordon heirs, he sent me very detailed instructions on what not to tell them, how to word it if I did tell them, and even how to properly address the titled ladies. That pleading/demanding email was passed along to the Duff-Gordon heirs so they could see what had really happened vs. what Randy wanted them to think had happened. I will be glad to share that with interested parties as well. That particular email was sent to me through a well-known third party in the Titanic community who would be able to corroborate its source. (I blocked Mr. Bigham's email address several years ago and prior to this fiasco had had no direct contact with him since 2004).
I realize that 99.99% of earth's population has no interest whatsoever in this whole matter. For anyone that does, just contact me, and I can provide the evidence behind the whole sorry saga, and at this point will not hesitate to do so.