[Updated] Jimmy Kimmel took to Twitter late Friday to deny that he was the buyer of John Currin's nude Bea Arthur painting, contradicting an earlier tweet confirming that he was. He also denied that he had given the painting to fellow comedian Jeffrey Ross.
Kimmel wrote on his official Twitter account: "Contrary to 'news' reports, I didn't buy the Bea Arthur painting - not even for @realjeffreyross - but I did buy the Mona Lisa Lampanelli."
Earlier on Friday, the comedian confirmed on Twitter that he was the person who spent $1.9 million on a 1991 nude portrait of Arthur by artist John Currin, and that he has given the painting to fellow comedian Jeff Ross.
Kimmel was believed to have bought the painting at a Christie's auction in New York earlier this month. The auction of postwar and contemporary art brought it a record total of $495 million.
Ross tweeted a picture of himself on Friday holding the Currin painting: "Biggest surprise of my life. Thank you @jimmykimmel - the most generous guy in the world!"
Kimmel responded on his official Twitter account: "@realjeffreyross Bea is watching over all of us, but especially you."
Representatives for Kimmel directed inquiries about the supposed purchase to the comedian's Twitter account.
"Bea Arthur Nude" is an oil painting that depicts "The Golden Girls" actress, who died in 2009, with her breasts bared.It had been expected to bring in $1.8 million to $2.5 million, according to Christie's.