Geller heartbreak as Elvis's home is sold from under him
Monday 05 June 2006
Uri Geller may be one of the world's most famous magicians but he will have to rely on more than a few magic tricks if he is to get back Elvis Presley's first home - a 3,000 sq ft house in Memphis which, until recently, the Israeli-born psychic thought he owned.
Geller thought his £480,000 bid on the internet auction site Ebay had won last month. But news emerged over the weekend that the owners of the house, which Elvis bought in 1956 using the royalties from "Heartbreak Hotel", appear to have sold the property privately to wealthy music producer Mike Curb for an undisclosed sum.
"We're absolutely, mindblown angry," a furious Geller said. "Of course we are going to sue." Geller, a former friend of Michael Jackson, placed the Ebay bid along with two other partners in May hoping to restore the house at 1034 Audubon Drive and open it to the public.
At the time, he said: "As the clock closed on bidding, I felt intuitively I got the price. Suddenly, the radio started playing an Elvis song. That was Elvis telling me we got that house."
What Elvis clearly didn't tell him was that a winning bid for property on Ebay does not necessarily constitute a legal contract because Ebay maintains real estate auctions on its site are purely marketing events that generate publicity and not actual legally binding sales.
But, in a twist as bizarre as Geller's spoon-bending antics, the celebrity psychic and his partners may be given a second shot at bidding for the King's former residence.
According to Geller's lawyer in Memphis, the original owners of the house had their debts cleared after they filed for bankruptcy before selling the property. The bankruptcy court that heard their case did not appreciate the extra value that living in a Presley abode would bring them and is now thinking about reopening the case.
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