Michael Jackson: The fantastic possessions revealed

Friday 26 June 2009 07:01

A huge auction of Michael Jackson memorabilia scheduled for April was cancelled and auctioneers agreed to return all the items to the singer. But the public exhibition of the items went ahead - and the photographs provided an amazing insight into the King of Pop's highlife.

Auctioneer Darren Julien told Reuters the cancellation of the planned 22-25 April sale was the result of an agreement with Jackson, who had filed a lawsuit in March demanding the return of certain items.

A public exhibit of the 1,400 lots opened on 14 April in Beverly Hills and ran until 25 April.

Julien said then that all the items - including a single crystal white glove worn in the singer's "Billie Jean" performances and the gates to his Neverland Ranch in California - were being returned to Jackson when the exhibit closed.

Jackson's spokesman, Tohme R. Tohme, said at the time in a joint statement with Julien that the two groups were "pleased" with the agreement and that it "allows Michael Jackson to retain ownership of the Collection of Michael Jackson."

Julien signed agreements with Tohme and removed hundreds of items from Jackson's shuttered and sold Neverland Ranch for the sale, which was expected to fetch about $10 million.

It would have been the largest authorized auction of items associated with the self-styled King of Pop, who has been a virtual recluse since his 2005 acquittal on charges of molesting a young boy at Neverland.

But on 4 March, Tohme and Jackson's production company filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles seeking the return of unspecified items. Although a Los Angeles judge ruled earlier this month the auction could proceed, the two sides continued talks to settle the dispute.

Julien said earlier this month he had spent some $2 million preparing the sale and the exhibit.

He did not say how much Jackson had agreed to pay under Tuesday's settlement but added; "We are very happy. We are happy because he is happy."

"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's Auction House have made arrangements that will allow the collection to be shared with and enjoyed by Jackson's fans for many years to come," the statement said.

The 30,000 square-foot (2,787 sq metre) exhibit includes Jackson's red, gilded throne, his Rolls-Royce stretch limo, sequined costumes, portraits of Jackson, pictures of Peter Pan, and toys from the Neverland ranch.

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