When the nude painting of 'Maude' and 'Golden Girls' actress Bea Arthur sold at auction a couple of weeks ago for 1.9 million dollars, it was reported that the buyer 'wished to remain anonymous'. Now rumors are running rampant that the topless rendering of the late actress was purchased by late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

Stories of the Kimmel purchase began to circulate last week when Kimmel pal, comic Jeffrey Ross tweeted a message to Kimmel that said, 'Thank you for being a friend!' and posted pics of himself with the painting. 'Thank You For Being A Friend', by the way, wasthe Andrew Gold song that was 'The Golden Girls' musical theme.

Kimmel, meanwhile, has denied making the purchase, wisecracking, 'But I did buy the Mona Lisa Lampanelli'.