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This has been played out on social media a great deal when it first happened. Many astute collectors believe there is a lot more to the story than what is presented in the "official" story.
Regrettably, scams abound in any hobby... especially autographs because the barriers to entry are so low. Anyone with a pen can do it. What is most troubling is that even what used to be relatively safe channels like book signings, art prints and so-called private signings are now a minefield.
Thanks for the kind words. :-)
I second that, InkInvestor.
"When the Beckett witness arrived, he was told by the organizer that McKellen arrived early, signed everything, and had already left."
At which point the Beckett's rep said he could not authenticate anything he did not personally see being signed and left right?
They were stickered and have since been retracted. I am not sure if they used the "Witnessed" labels or they went with the regular labels.
Was that individual's employment also retracted?
"To be clear, I have never attended paid signings. I do sign for charity and for individuals who submit items directly to me." - Ian McKellen
This statement alone renews my respect for this gentleman.