Michael Jackson's fans are notorious for their rabid worship of the late pop star. But will they pony up big bucks to own the bed on which their icon died? We will find out on December 17, when Julien's Auctions Gallery will auction off the contents of the rented Holmby Hills, California, home that Jackson was renting at the time of his death.
Though the announcement of the sale does not mention Jackson by name, it lists a variety of fine art and furnishings from the residence, including a gilded Louis XV headboard (est. $3,000/$4,000) and a $30,000 watercolor painting by Maurice Utrillo. An Associated Press story revealed that the sale of contents of 100 North Carolwood Drive will comprise items left behind by Jackson.
The singer passed away in the home on June 25, 2009, and on Monday his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was found guilty of one felony count of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death. Among the pieces of evidence brought up by prosecution witnesses attesting to Murray's medical incompetence was the fact that he gave Jackson CPR on a bed instead of a hard surface. The hundreds of items up for sale in the auction include the queen-size bed where Jackson slept.
In an ironic twist, just as Murray was getting news of the guilty verdict, reporters were being taken through the three-story home on a private tour in order to publicize the auction.
"We want to preserve the history of these items," said auctioneer Darren Julien of the contents, which include paintings and sculptures Jackson surrounded himself with in the rented home as he tuned up for his planned "This is It" comeback tour. The house, where Jackson lived with his three children from December 2008 until his death, is also separately up for sale.
One of the most-personal items on the block ($400) is a chalkboard that hung in the home's kitchen that features a note from the kids that reads, "I (heart) Daddy. SMILE, it's for free." A mirror on an antique armoire in Jackson's private bedroom featured a message the star wrote to himself that read, "TRAIN, perfection, March April. FULL OUT May," a reference to the grueling rehearsal schedule the 50-year-old was keeping up as he prepared for the string of concerts that were to begin in London in July 2009.
Reporters also saw a "medication room," the bedroom shown in evidence photos at Murray's trial, where fans can pick up upholstered chairs smudged with Jackson's makeup. An attorney for Jackson matriarch Katherine Jackson said that the family is aware of the auction and has made certain that the event does not use Michael's name or likeness to help sell the items; Jackson's name is not mentioned in the promotional materials for the auction.