Michael Jackson auction halted
The auction of treasures collected from Michael Jackson's Neverland estate, which the pop star vacated after being acquitted of child molestation charges in 2005, has been halted, according to representatives of the pop star and the Beverly Hills auction house responsible for the sale.
The eclectic assemblage — a catalog of the singer's career and eccentricities — went on view to the public today at the former Robinsons-May building in Beverly Hills, and the auction was set to begin April 22. But today, said Darren Julien, president and chief executive of Julien's Auctions, which had been hired to conduct the sale, "we reached a resolution and we're very happy about. It allows Michael to retain ownership of his possessions. He contracted us to conduct the auction and had a change of mind for whatever reason. And we honor and respect that. We're very happy with the outcome. “
Representatives of Jackson’s production company filed suit last month in L.A. Superior Court to stop the auction, claiming that certain items, including a carousel horse with an inscription from Elizabeth Taylor, are irreplaceable and that Jackson had not signed the auction contract. A judge dismissed that attempt to have the contract ruled invalid, and the company had seeking a preliminary injunction to delay the sale.
A statement from Jackson's representative Tohme Tohme said that "there was so much interest from so many of Jackson’s fans that instead of putting the items in the hands of private collectors, Dr. Tohme and Julien Auctions have made arrangements that will allow the collection to be shared with and enjoyed by Jackson’s fans for many years to come." Reached by phone he added, "I think we are going to have a beautiful museum someday for Michael."
The public exhibition of Jackson's collection will continue through April 25.
— Booth Moore
Photo: Nancy Pastor / For The Times