Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jackson: Never say Neverland auction again

You might have to ask yourself if Michael Jackson's sudden change of mind about flogging off stuff from Neverland could - just about - have something to do with the sudden influx of money raised by announcing gigs in Greenwich.

Naturally, the decision to not auction some stuff after all can't be a simple process; Oh, no, it has to involve lawsuits and threats.

First Jacko filed a lawsuit claiming that many of the items Julien's Auctions had up for sale he'd never agreed to; now Julien's have countersued:

The company's president, Darren Julien, said in a sworn statement filed with a Los Angeles court that the singer's representatives even tried to intimidate him into postponing the sale.

During a Feb. 9 meeting at a fast-food restaurant in Los Angeles, he said, one of Jackson's employees warned that the auctioneers would be in danger "from Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam," if they didn't call it off.

"He told us that Dr. Tohme and Michael Jackson wanted to give the message to us 'that our lives are at stake and there will be bloodshed,'" Julien said, referring to Jackson business manager, Tohme Tohme.

Although, having sworn this in a legal document, Julien goes on to say that he didn't believe it was a genuine threat anyway.

Jackson's people say all this talk of Louis Farrakhan is designed to be some sort of smokescreen to distract attention from the auction house's own wrongdoing - although it's hard to see why you'd bring the Nation Of Islam into it if that was what you were up to. Wouldn't that just attract more attention for the whole story?

Oddly, though, the auction is still going ahead and both sides are working together to parade the lots on a little tour of the country.

It's all more exciting than Cash In The Attic, isn't it?