Michael Jackson's Auction Will Not Go On
Michael Jackson's cancels Neverland memorabilia after he filing suit.
April 15, 2009— -- Michael Jackson told a Beverly Hills auction house to beat it, and has canceled an auction of Jackobilia.
"Both parties, Julien's Auctions and Michael Jackson, agree to halt the auction," Martin J. Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions, told ABC News. "All items will remain intact as one collection and will be returned to Michael Jackson."
"Both sides agree to make a generous donation to Music Cares, the charity founded by the Recording Academy," added Nolan.
Prior to the Tuesday evening legal agreement, the auction was scheduled to run April 21 until April 25 and expected to generate upwards of $30 million from the 1,390 items on sale. To placate Jackson's many fans, the collection will still be open to public viewing until April 25 for a charge of $20 per head.
"This is the latest episode in the endlessly fascinating, sometimes grossly bizarre career of Michael Jackson," said Michael Levine, who was in charge of public relations for Jackson, 50, during his 1993 child molestation trial.
It's also typical behavior for Jackson, who is notoriously fickle and prone to changing his mind. In recent years, the "king of pop" has bailed out on a comeback tour with his brothers who made up The Jackson Five and an album for which Sheikh Abdulla of Bahrain paid $7 million but never received. Abdulla sued and the pair settled out of court.
Jackson originally hired Julien's Auctions to sell over 2,000 items from his Neverland Ranch after he was forced to sell it or face foreclosure. Then, in March, he slapped Julien's with a lawsuit to halt the sale, saying he had never authorized it. A hearing on a preliminary injunction had been scheduled today before Tuesday's night announcement saying the auction would be cancelled.
Opening day at the auction site was certainly a feast for the senses. Two dozen gold buggies, limos and miniature race cars lined the walk to the garden where more than 50 statues, many of children playing, lined a garden area. Walking up the stairs to the main show room, visitors were greeted by a red carpet, moody lighting and Jackson's beats blaring out of the loud speakers.