Michael Jackson has successfully stopped the April 22nd auction that would have seen nearly 2,000 items from his massive collection of memorabilia become available to the highest bidder. As Rock Daily previously reported, Jackson sued to prevent the auction from taking place, but Julien's Auctions insisted the Neverland auction would still go on as planned. However, the BBC reports that the items will now all be returned to Jackson and the King of Pop's lawsuit against the auction house would be dropped.
As we showed in our Neverland on the Block: Inside the Michael Jackson Auction gallery, Jackson's collection of sequined gloves, jackets, portraits, Skywalker mementos, the gates to Neverland Ranch and much more were slated to go on the block. The items were claimed from Neverland after the singer left his California ranch in 2005 and racked up millions of dollars in debt, including attorney fees and $250,000 each month for Neverland's upkeep. Jackson was unable to pay back the part-ownership on his estate, and lost all the possessions in it. Essentially, Jackson was being kept afloat financially thanks to his stake in Sony/ATV Music publishing and its Beatles catalog, but even that investment was threatened by the mounting debt.
While nobody has explained why the auction was canceled outside of the lawsuit, it's possible that the influx of cash that comes with selling out 50 consecutive shows at London's O2 Arena might have played a role. Plus, the Beatles' catalog will be both remastered and ready for Rock Band this autumn, so Jackson will likely receive a nice slice of those profits. The items that were set to hit the auction block will remain on public display in Los Angeles until the end of next week, after which point they'll be returned to Jackson.
• Michael Jackson Sells Out 50 London Shows as Controversy Brews On Secondary Market
• Neverland on the Block: Inside the Michael Jackson Auction
• Michael Jackson Announces 10-Concert Run at London's O2 Arena