A US judge has rejected a request from pop star Michael Jackson to stop an auction of the singer’s possessions from taking place later this month.
In March Jackson filed legal action in Los Angeles claiming that Julien’s Auction House had “effectively stolen” his property.
“We have to proceed because we have no choice,” said auctioneer Darren Julien, who claimed a contract was agreed.
Jackson’s production company is seeking the return of hundreds of items, which include the wrought iron gates from his Neverland Ranch and a white glove he wore in his 1983 Billie Jean video.
Julien has spent more than US$2 million arranging the sale.
His lawyer told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brett Klein that if the auction was halted then Julien could face bankruptcy.
His ruling will “have no impact whatsoever” on the injunction motion, said Alan Gutman, who is representing Jackson’s company, MJJ Productions.
The next hearing will come before a different judge.
Julien’s lawyer, Jerry Hawxhurst, said a contract was agreed, which gave the firm the right to sell the items.
“The contract is clear as well water,” he said.
Julien and Jackson’s representatives agreed to allow some of the items to go on tour to promote their sale while the case proceeds.
The five-day auction, which is due to take place from April 22 in Beverly Hills, is expected to fetch up to US$20 million. – BBCOnline.