CNN Host Says he Was Sold Fake Autograph Picture

CNN turned a fake ISIS flag into an "exclusive" report, but it is another fake that has one CNN host seeing red.

CNN's Michael Smerconish says that an art gallery sold him a phony photo of Winston Churchill with a bogus signature of the late British prime minister.

In a complaint filed four days ago Smerconish says he was regular customer of Walter Graham Arader III and his Arader Galleries business, between 1992 and 2004.

At the time, Smerconish was practicing law in Philadelphia, and he says he often purchased antique maps, prints and watercolors from the gallery. Smerconish describes himself as a Winston Churchill "aficionado." He owns an original watercolor painted by Churchill, and says he has also visited the former prime minister's home, war room and archive center.

According to the complaint, Smerconish paid $5,000 in 2000 for a photo of Churchill purportedly taken by Yousuf Karch, who specialized in portrait photos of world leaders, great thinkers and movie stars in the mid-20th century.

The photo came with a certificate of authenticity stating that Churchill signed the photo, "Yours Sincerely, Winston S. Churchill, 1942.

Earlier this year, Smerconish says, the autograph began to fade, so he sought help in getting it restored. A conservator told him that the print is not a photograph. He found out both the picture and the signature were fake and had been reproduced out of a book. 

Smerconish has Arader Galleries for fraud and intentional misrepresentation, citing the certificate of authenticity's statement that the print was "the only one of this, the quintessential photograph of Churchill we have ever seen offered for sale in the United States."

He also sued for breach of contract and breach of warranty, asking for a total of $150,000.

H/T Courthouse News