Heritage Sues to Determine Who Really Owns Michael Jackson's Stuff

Back in November, Unfair Park's across-the-street neighbor Heritage Auction Galleries auctioned off a pile of Michael Jackson memorabilia, including a signed guitar, some autographed album covers and his fedora. Heritage says it got the stuff from a Los Angeles man named Benson Hopp, to whom Heritage says it advanced more than $10,000, which would be repaid with proceeds from the items' sale.

Only, a New Jersey man showed up later with a police report claiming the stuff had been stolen out of a Las Vegas storage warehouse. Then the IRS got involved. So Heritage voided the sales, returned the bidders' money and decided to hold on to the stuff till the ownership claims are settled. The auction house has filed legal papers in Dallas federal court to let everyone know what's what.

Noah Fleisher, PR man for Heritage, sends word: "The MJ 'Life Mask' didn't come from the consignment in question. It was indeed part of the overall MJ grouping, just not that stuff." Fine, I've altered the item, but I'm leaving the art. Spooky.