Is there, among the 2,000 auction items culled from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, a Rosebud sled -- some seemingly worthless toy, trinket or tchotke that would unlock the secret to the enigmatic King of Pop? You'd certainly think so from the way Jacko and his lawyers have been fighting to stop Julien's from proceeding with its April 22-25 auction of Jacksonalia. Time may be slipping away from them, however. Last Friday Los Angeles Judge Brett Klein ruled that the famed auction house, which has spent $2 million preparing the sale, did not have to return Jackson's property, as he had requested.
Left, from Jackson auction catalogue: "Lot 6: Patinated bronze sculpture of two boys playing on a single-seat bicycle."
Jackson and auction house owner Darren Julien struck a deal last summer regarding the auction, but that unraveled in March, when Jackson decided he'd changed his mind about the sale of memorabilia that includes items from his reign over the music charts during the 1980s. Jackson's lawyers say the arrangement called for a complete photographic inventory of his auctionable possessions to be made before bidding could begin. Jackson is insisting on this in order to for him to determine which items are sellable and which have too much sentimental -- and monetary -- value to give up. The inventory includes everything from rhinestone-encrusted mitts to automobiles.
At one point Julien's claimed it had received threats from a member of
the Nation of Islam, which had once provided security for Jackson at
his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County. Those threats were later
denied by Jackson's people.
Besides taking into account
Jackson's mercurial temperament, it's not difficult to see why he might
be having second thoughts. Today's L.A. Daily News reports the
trove could bring in $12 million, which could come in handy to help
Jackson's pending July comeback -- or whatever new legal monkey
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business he finds himself in. Despite Friday's court decision, it ain't
over till the Gloved One sings -- Judge Klein also said he would hear a
motion April 15 from Jackson's side, which will seek an injunction to
prevent Julien's from receiving bids at its Beverly Hills event.