[UPDATED with Artist's "Proof":] Todd White, SpongeBob Squarepants Animator-Turned-Painter, Blamed in Suit for Surf City Ninja "Attack"

Categories: Crime-iny, TV
UPDATE, AUG. 31, 2:42 P.M.: Former SpongeBob Squarepants animator Todd White's legal team has gone public with the hard proof they say clears their client and damns the woman suing him for allegedly sending ninjas to take over her Huntington Beach gallery.

This evidence consists of side-by-side photos of an original White drawing and a fake Margaret Howell's accusers allege she sold along with others for several thousand dollars at The Gallery HB at the Hyatt Regency.

TMZ posted the photos today:

Todd-White-evidence_tmz.jpg
TMZ.com
Todd White's evidence
White also claims to have an agreement Howell signed to turn over his artworks and copyrights, but the gallerist had previously claimed the artist's martial-arts thugs forced her to ink the pact.

UPDATE, AUG. 30, 1:54 P.M.: Former SpongeBob Squarepants animator Todd White is counter-suing in federal court the gallerist suing the artist in Orange County Superior Court for allegedly sending ninjas to take over her Huntington Beach commercial art space.

White accuses Margaret Howell in federal district court in Los Angeles of fraud for supposedly making unauthorized copies of his internationally known work and selling them at The Gallery HB at the Hyatt Regency.

White claimed to an art publication two weeks ago that Howell had admitted to selling unauthorized copies of work by him and other artists and that she voluntarily turned over the pieces to settle their dispute. The artist also said he informed the Hyatt before his representatives went to The Gallery HB to retrieve his work and the phonies.

Now, in the face of Howell's suit--which accuses him of sending martial-arts thugs to The Gallery HB on Aug. 2 to force her to turn over his artwork as well as operation of the art space--he's going to court to press the issue.

Jonathan M. Jenkins, Howell's Marina del Rey attorney who filed the original lawsuit, reportedly said his client did nothing wrong and that he will move to dismiss White's federal suit.

"If they thought they had evidence" of fraud, Jenkins tells the New York Times, it's "curious that they waited until Ms. Howell filed the lawsuit that she did."

UPDATE, AUG. 17, 1:39 P.M.: Calling allegations that he hired ninjas to attack, silence and force out a Huntington Beach gallerist "totally absurd" (not to mention the accompanying $5.5 million lawsuit), Hollywood artist Todd White unveiled a much different version of the Aug. 2 events at Surf City's Hyatt Regency.

Indeed, White leveled accusations of his own, accusing Margaret Howell, the woman suing him in Orange County Superior Court, of engaging in widespread fraud and forgery out of the tony resort's The Gallery HB.

Speaking with Leigh Kamping-Carder of The Art Newspaper, the artist who parlayed lead animation work on SpongeBob Squarepants into international renown for original works in oil paint and glicees says that his studio discovered The Gallery HB was hawking copied pieces with forged Todd White signatures.

todd-white-painting.jpg
By Todd White
Alarm bells rang when Howell accidentally brought a fake to White's studio, according to Bryce Eddy, the studio's managing director who as a defendant in the gallery operator's suit is identified as the artist's "agent and martial arts sparring partner."

Eddy reportedly said The Gallery HB was investigated for 2 1/2 months before four bogus White works and dozens of forgeries bearing the signatures of other artists were ultimately identified. White contends in the piece that the Hyatt was informed of the forgeries and that his representatives only went to the resort that fateful evening to resolve the matter confidentially.

Under the terms of an agreement the artist claims Howell signed voluntarily, she would relinquish the artworks in exchange for White dropping fraud and copyright infringement claims, said Eddy, adding that Howell willingly gave up the pieces and even recorded a confession.

"Obviously, the allegations she's thrown out are just totally absurd," White reportedly told Kamping-Carder. "For her to say what she said is so outrageous, I mean it's amazing."

However, Howell's attorney Jonathan Jenkins counters in the same piece that his client never copied White's work and wonders why the artist did not go to the authorities if he believed she did.

"Why didn't they do something other than show up in force in the middle of the night and assault, harass, threaten and emotionally demolish a 62-year-old woman there all by herself?" Jenkins reportedly said.

Spongebob.jpg
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 16, 2 P.M.: Todd White, formerly of the lead animation team that developed SpongeBob Squarepants, hired thugs to attack and rob a gallery operator selling his works before forcibly taking over her space at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, claims the woman's $5.5 million lawsuit against the artist.

Margaret Howell filed the suit in Orange County Superior Court that claims the violence by martial arts experts occurred the evening of Aug. 2 at the gallery through the early morning hours of Aug. 3 at her home.

"On August 3, 2011, this incident was reported to the Huntington Beach Police Department and we are conducting an investigation," confirms Lt. Russell Reinhart, the department's spokesman.

Howell claims she sought treatment for physical injuries caused by the alleged SpongeGoons and that she was hospitalized for emotional wounds. Specifically, her court complaint accuses White--"in a thankless fit of greed"--of hiring at least four men to attack her so the artist could take control of the gallery featuring his work.

"Despite White's string of professional successes . . . his true nature was revealed on the night of August 2, 2011, when he orchestrated a malicious and brutal assault and robbery against the very woman who helped him launch his career in studio art," Howell says in her court complaint filed by Marina del Rey attorney Jonathan Jenkins.

the-gallery-HB-entrance2.jpg
The Gallery HB
Scene of a crime?
Howell claims the men came into her The Gallery HB, which is at the resort at PCH and Beach Boulevard, around 6 p.m. pretending to be interested in buying White's art. But they were really "martial arts experts" who were accompanied by White's attorney, Keith Davidson, and White's "agent and martial arts sparring partner" Bryce Eddy, reads the complaint, which includes Davidson and Eddy as defendants. The identities of the other men will eventually be revealed via the security cameras, alleges the complaint, which goes on to state:

"[T]hese defendants, acting on White's behalf, entered the Gallery while Ms. Howell was alone. They forcibly shut down the Gallery, physically assaulted Ms. Howell, emotionally traumatized her, and wrongfully and unlawfully imprisoned her in her office for long hours by force. They threatened her with severe physical harm if she did not comply with their demands."
    
More White-hired intruders arrived to steal more than $1 million worth of White art that belonged to Howell's gallery and Fine Art Consulting Services, which she also owns, claim the court documents, which accuse Eddy, Davidson and others of stealing certificates of authenticity, customer lists and sales and inventory records.

The goal of the fiendish plot, according to Howell: to bypass her while taking over the business.

But the mayhem did not end at the gallery, according to her complaint, which claims she was taken by physical force and threats of more harm to her home, where the thugs removed more artwork belong to her gallery and the consulting service. She says that she was given until today, Aug. 16 to vacate the gallery, and that if she reported anything to police, members of her family would be the next to suffer beatings.

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42 comments
ThugFan
ThugFan

So much for the "band of thugs".  The cops investigated and found no truth to this crazy woman's story.  Why is it only wild claims get headlines and thruth is ignored?

Chris Perez
Chris Perez

This really sounds like a load of nonsense. The proof shall soon be known. The idea that the idea that Todd White would want to steal back his art only suggests that the gallery must be pulling some fraudulent practices that any true artist would want to disassociate with. My guess is that the gallery was copying and selling fakes I have heard of this before. Let's all stay posted.

-VCP

Super Powers
Super Powers

I personally am a good friend of The White Family...Todd...his wife and his children. All of this shit talking you people on here are doing is so far from the truth, it just makes me sick! Todd would NEVER hurt this woman...or any other woman at that. He did nothing wrong here. Him and her were friends and she totally ripped him off. I believe he did not go to the cops because he wanted to keep it civil and just get his stuff back and wanted her to knock her shit off...She is totally lying...Also, Todd does not hang out with NINJAS!!! LMAO!!! I cant wait til this lying thief gets what she deserves! I advise anyone who bought art through her...regardless of the Artist gets their art checked quickly!!! You probley have a fake!!! Todd STAY STRONG! You will win this case and go on being successful as hell!

lookingoodat50
lookingoodat50

well I happen to love Todd Whites work.  I think he is an honest man and whether or not you like or dislike his artwork, NO one has the write to sign his name on HIS painting.  NO one has the right to copy his orginals and sell them for orginals.  Only money hungry people do crap like that.  If for fact this story is true, and for some reason I think it is, Todd's story, she should be put in jail, who made her so high and mighty anyways.  Good luck with this one Mr. White

Kmd24
Kmd24

NOW the real story comes out!

SponeBob.
SponeBob.

Todd The Tosser White was "never" the  lead designer  on SpongeBob. He's been riding that gravy train his whole life. The truth is he did work on the show but a whole group of Artist are credited with the SpongeBob characters final designs with "White" on the bottom of the totem pole of design. He was known as a bit of a bully on the show and wasn't liked or respected.Still to this very day we speak about Todd White as a joke how he cashes in on the name of SpongeBob and the lies he has told over the years about his roll on the show. Yes like every one self we think he ripped of the art style of Clifford Bailey which is no big surprise because he's never had an " Original Idea " of his own.

Kmd24
Kmd24

Todd White is a high profile professional man who values and respects each peice of art he creates and on a even higher level he values and cherish his fans that support him. This story is complete bs, Todd has nothing to gain from a childish poorly planned assualt.

Lizzyboo
Lizzyboo

I have a FAKE B*llshit piece of "Art" sold to me by this woman from that gallery! I took it to another gallery to see if I could put it on consignment & was told it was not real. I confronted her about it & of course, she denied it & said the gallery who told me that is lying. Not to mention the fact that shes completely unprofessional and a drunk. I wouldnt believe a thing she says!

Singakel
Singakel

Todd White is not a good person. Years ago he wrote a fan letter to a friend of mine Clifford Bailey in regards to how much he enjoyed his art. Then blatantly stole his style and started incorporating it into his own paintings. I can't tell you how many times people mistake Todd White for Clifford Bailey or Clifford Bailey for Todd White. When Cliff confronted Todd.. Todd basically told him to F off.  Now it looks like he is stealing a page out of OJ's book! This dudes day is coming... karma is a bitch!

Awesomeapplepies
Awesomeapplepies

I found out the artwork that I bought from this gallery was FAKE! THE OWNER SOLD ME FAKE TODD WHITE PRINTS! Not a credible person if you ask me... She's probably making this whole thing up.The owner of this gallery screwed me out of thousands of dollars and would not refund my money. She lied to me... Why wouldn't she lie to the cops? 

Anon
Anon

Ninjas in OC?

OCLocal
OCLocal

This doesn't sound true. Something is off here. I guess we shall see how this case plays out.

Steve B
Steve B

Chris, you and I grew up with Todd, we know how far he's come and how hard he has worked.  It's a shame it's come to this.  Real friends don't need explanations and his enemies wouldn't believe him anyway. 

Steve

ladedah321
ladedah321

so maybe since y ou are such good freinds...you may also be shocked , like many of us fans where, that less than  five years ago he brutally assulted adn beat the guy to a plup because the  guy  was dating his ex girl. friend. I heard about it adn jsut coul not belive  he actullay got a restraining  order. all iof his fans liked that  got  off teh assult  adn battery charge  Good for us so he coudl paint more. Still donnt; getr it though...why the marshall art guys in teh middle of teh night, why did they fo teh to home and take artwrok. I am hoping this all goes away...

donnac
donnac

lol.. LAME, todd white WAS the ONLY lead character designer on the show from the start. look it up.  like 20 years ago. I know I worked with him. sounds like people here are still in a cube hating getting old.

Lizzyboo
Lizzyboo

Regardless of what you think, or if he was the lead designer or the 80th designer, who cares? Thats completely irrelevant to the story here. It doesnt matter where his name was in the credits. None of this makes it ok for this woman, if you want to call her that, to make false and ridiculous accusations. Your thoughts on the artist, or anyone, dont negate the fact that what she claims is completely outrageous.

Erikmason
Erikmason

Read the law suite, you are dumb as a stick...Even if she did do something .... Sponge goons should have gone to the police . Can  you findanywhere  an actual lawsuit filed legally against her   , any lawsuit .No way bros ...there ain't  shit that  proves nothin. He did not havethe right to steal, rob and harass this old lady . What  a coward...how many  balls does ittake to go beat up an old lady...two tiny ones!!! Last time I checkedthis is America, not the Russian MOB. So take that and smoke it  SpongeGreed Square goons!!!!!  

ladedah321
ladedah321

Yeah...right on! move over OJ you getting a roomie!

Erik mason
Erik mason

 so  you know his work pretty well,  right? so whats  the name of the pieces she sold you.  I am worried mine may be a knock off , too.  either way .. If this guy had evidence or proof that this lady did whatever?, why didn't he go to the police? ? why did he send over 4 marshal art experts to harass, bully, abuse  and steal the her art   in  middle of the night when she was all alone? Then  follow   her ass home and proceed to steal  all of her personal collection into  the freakin  morning? Read the law suit she filed ..Even if she did do something ....the Sponge goons should have gone to the police . Can  you find anywhere  an actual lawsuit filed legally against her   , any lawsuit . No way bros ...there ain't  shit that  proves nothin. He did not have the right to steal, rob and harass this old lady . What  balls does it take to go beat up an old lady...two tiny ones!!! Last time I checked this is America, not the Russian MOB. So take that and smoke it  Sponge Greed Square goons!!!!!  

Terry Enyaup
Terry Enyaup

That's what you get for trying to be a hipster! Todd White sucks more balls than you do on a regular Friday night. I suggest you shut the fawk up and go rub one out while listening to your favorite bon jovi CD.

Ladeedah
Ladeedah

Yep...let's  see Todd White  had TONS  of evidence of fraud, right?  yet he did not contact THE  ORANGE COUNTY  DA'S OFFICE ?NOPE ,    rather MR. Whhite sent his Marshal arts buddies to harasse intiidate and steal 1.5 milliion iin art which the gallery ownered??? The followed the 61 single lady  to her home. Six guys , a moving truck at 1AM...With out question this guy thinks he is above the law otherwis he woudl have thaken the proper legal steps,ya think? And where, we ask,  IS ALL THE  HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLLARS OF FRAUD?????

MAYBE  HE HAS HAD TWO MNTHS TO MAKE SOME

  SPONGE TODD GANSTER PANTS,INDEED. 

comicbookhero
comicbookhero

 Like many fans know, people who do nothing hate success stories like white's. TODD WHITE fing rocks. what I do know is there is a lot of bullshit here.  I know him from the street fair days before sponge show. I dont see much truth in "shocked" to know.

comicbookhero
comicbookhero

haha, you got it right donnac.   viva la TODD WHITE!!

wokpaint
wokpaint

uhhh, LAWSUIT FILED against her bitches.. lol.. now where you at? Im perplexed by the half informed news tags and the idea the the poor galleries have been so great to artist.Since when did that happen? I work in the printing world and I can tell you these galleries will do ANYTHING to make a buck and I personally know 2 other artist who were ripped off from this same gallery.  They both feel Todd White is a hero to them for having the backbone to go after her. What artist in this day and age wont cave to a gallery and their scare tactics.  Most of the "artworld" in SOCAL know whats really going on.. Coast Gallery in Laguna Beach said it best,  She got caught doing the worst crime to an artist and now she trying to make a big smoke screen in hopes of scaring White off.  She claims of "brutal" attack yet,  no arrest?   She claims they kidnapped and robbed her... yet no arrest? really?  Not even the casey anthony jurors would fall for that. you FING rock Todd White!

Lizzyboo
Lizzyboo

Apparently you dont know how to read, or understand, the word "ALLEGEDLY". So clearly, youre "dumb as a stick." If you dont know anything about law, let me tell you... anyone can file a lawsuit! Anyone can SAY whatever they WANT! Proving it on the other hand, is a different story. Theres a little thing called EVIDENCE you need. Thank god this is America, justice will be served on her.

Rod Rigo
Rod Rigo

Comic book guy!!! what the fawk is up broda!!? Haven't seen you in ages.

Saladfingersss
Saladfingersss

Sandy Murphy was acquitted of murder by a jury of her peers, set case precedents twice in the Nevada supreme court.She made history and her name will forever echo the hall of the Nevada Justice system. They even made a movie about her.  It's called Sex lies and Sin City.  By the way Ted Binion was never Sandy's husband, she would not marry him because he was on drugs.  The Binions and the state almost went to jail for what they did.  I hope Peggy goes for what she did.  Just wait until the descovery process, which is part of the civial action that has been filled.  The state will probaby file charges then.  They are currently gathering matrial evidence against Mrs. Howell.  This is only the beginning!!!!

ladedah321
ladedah321

IT ain't over yet....  still ask why  he didn't  call the DA if he had a mound of evidence???   ALL THE GLALLERIES  LKINOW FOR A FACT  todd whtie WANTS TO GET MONEY ADN  do anhythiog to MAKE  a buck,  TAKE MONEY UNDER THE  TABLE TO DO SKETCHES ON THE FRONT OR THE BACF OF ANY OF HIS GICLEES...JUST OFFER HIM A WAD OF CASH AND SO MUCH FOR THE NEW ORELEANS AND CARMEL  REMARQUE EXCLUSIIVE CONTRACT!!!!   AND THEEN IS is Coast Gallery and SANDY  Muphy  ACCURSED WIFE OF MURDERED HUSBAND  IN THE  TED BINION  Murder Case in Vegas....nOW THERE IS A RELIALBE ADN TRUSTWORTH SOUORCE FOR YOUR  TWO WHITE ART, really?

EVER SEE L FERETS IN A TUBE CHASING  EACH OTHERS BUTT...NOW THAT IS A VISION IN WHITE FPR ALL TO SEE!!!! 

Awesomeapplepies
Awesomeapplepies

Dude, that's some serious shit right there! I was just at some comic show and had mad chub all damn day. I love it how comic book superheroes wear panties on top of their pants. It really shows off their package which get my lil schlong long!

Comic book guy
Comic book guy

im good man.. Just got back from comic con where i lost like 10lbs just whacking off to all the hotties

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