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Proceedings ceased shortly before Freedman was set to deliver her much-anticipated testimony - in the case of the De Sole suit only minutes before the trial.

The suits were brought by collectors Domenico and Eleanore De Sole, after their Mark Rothko painting, which they bought for $8.3m from Knoedler in 2005, was found to be one of a series of forged artworks the gallery had sold under Freedman's leadership between 1994 and 2008.

Despite claims given in the testimony of experts and former colleagues who took the stand, Freedman has maintained that she was not aware that any of the paintings she had sold were fakes. Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, though the De Soles, who filed their case in 2012, were seeking $25m in reparations.

The suit follows five others that were brought against Freedman and Knoedler, all of which were settled after out-of-court negotiations. Four further suits are pending.