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Jimmy Kimmel: I Did NOT Buy Nude Bea Arthur Painting For $1.9 Million (UPDATE)

By Daniel Gates

(Twitter/GossipCop composite)

(GettyImages.com)

Jimmy Kimmel appeared to have spent $1.9 million on a nude portrait of Bea Arthur, which he then gave to comedian pal Jeff Ross — but it seems to have been a prank.

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Last week, Christie’s auctioned the 1991 painting by John Currin — showing “Golden Girls” star Arthur topless — for a staggering $1,915,750, but the identity of the buyer was not announced.

On Friday, Ross tweeted, “Biggest surprise of my life. Thank you @jimmykimmel – the most generous guy in the world! #BeaArthur,” along with a picture of himself holding the Currin work.

Kimmel responded, “@realjeffreyross Bea is watching over all of us, but especially you.”

“Amen, brother,” replied Ross.

But it looks like the two comedians were — surprise! — joking.

Kimmel later tweeted, “Contrary to ‘news’ reports, I didn’t buy the Bea Arthur painting – not even for @realjeffreyross – but I did buy the Mona Lisa Lampanelli.”

Ross and Arthur were forever linked by an infamous, sexually graphic joke the comedian made at her expense during the Friar’s Club Roast of Jerry Stiller more than a decade ago (explicit video below at 2:35 mark).

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