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Troubles fail to dent Jackson auction prices

CLOTHES and photographs worn or signed 'with love' by Michael Jackson, the pop star fighting for his future after being accused of child abuse, were offered at Christie's in South Kensington yesterday, writes Dalya Alberge.

His fans were conspicuous by their absence. Whether they had abandoned Jackson because of the scandal or had not heard about the sale was hard to tell.

A trilby hat, autographed in silver ink, failed to sell for its estimated pounds 450 to pounds 650. But Jackson's slinky stage jacket of black sequins sold for pounds 8,800 to an anonymous buyer (estimate pounds 6,000- pounds 8,000).

However, a Madonna lookalike stole the show - Sara Lee, modelling Madonna's baby-doll negligee. It went for pounds 11,000 (estimate, pounds 2,500- pounds 4,500) as the auctioneer coaxed bids, explaining that Ms Lee was getting cold.