Music mogul-turned-British reality TV star David Gest has followed through on his threat to sue the bosses of a Los Angeles auction house for using his name to sell Michael Jackson memorabilia the day after the King of Pop's death.
Julien's Auctions offered up 21 Jackson family items in Las Vegas on 26 June (09), telling clients they were from Gest's personal collection.
But Gest, a close friend of the tragic superstar, denied all knowledge of the event - and instructed his lawyers to launch a lawsuit against the auction house.
He told Britain's The Sun newspaper, "I want to let buyers know this was not my auction. I think it is terrible that the auction house would carry out a sale of items belonging to a man who has not been buried yet. Even if I once owned any of these items this should not have been misleadingly portrayed as my personal auction to the press and buyers. I received no money from this sale."
One signed Jackson 5 album was expected to fetch between $400 (£250) and $600 (£375) at the auction, but sold for a staggering $33,750 (£21,000), while an image of Mickey Mouse and Pluto that Jackson painted as a kid fetched $25,000 (£15,625). It was expected to go under the hammer for just $1,000 (£625).
Gest's attorneys have been in touch with auction house boss Darren Julien, who in turn, has filed a federal lawsuit, asking a judge to see through the plaintiff's legal action.
Julien insists there's no way he would use the producer's name to sell auction items, unless he felt he had to, suggesting potential buyers would not be impressed by a man who "has reportedly been involved in domestic abuse (and) sued his wealthy ex-wife (Liza Minnelli) for $10 million".