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Comedian Jokes Jimmy Kimmel Bought Him $1.9 Million Bea Arthur Nude Painting

Jimmy Kimmel Bea Arthur Painting Jeffrey Ross Blacked Out- P 2013
@realjeffreyross/Twitter

UPDATED: The late night host denies purchasing the painting for comic Jeffrey Ross, who earlier tweeted a photo of himself with a replica of the work.

The anonymous bidder that last week splurged a whopping $1.9 million on a nude portrait of Bea Arthur has been revealed as none other than Jimmy Kimmel -- at least according to a joke Friday afternoon.

Just before 12:30 p.m., comedian Jeffrey Ross tweeted a photo of himself holding up the portrait with a caption that read “Biggest surprise of my life. Thank you @JimmyKimmel – the most generous guy in the world!”

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Kimmel responded in kind by joking, “@RealJeffreyRoss Bea is watching over us, but especially you.”

But Friday evening, Kimmel denied making the purchase, tweeting:

A rep for the ABC late night host tells The Hollywood Reporter the painting was a prop from Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

John Currin’s 1991 nude made headline’s last week as one of the hot-ticket items in a record-breaking Christie’s auction that brought in a whopping $495 million for 70 lots on the block. The work, titled “Bea Arthur Naked,” was sold at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale in New York City on Wednesday, May 15.

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The identity of the secret bidder had not been revealed.