NBC News Los Angeles aired an investigative report on Julien's Auction's Tompkins & Bush Michael Jackson sale on Tuesday, Dec. 18's 11:00 News. Watch the report and read the accompanying article on NBC Los Angeles's website.
Julien's held the Tompkins & Bush Michael Jackson auction on December 2, but outrage has flooded Michael Jackson fan sites and the world of rock autographs since mid-November, as fans, dealers and collectors alike told Julien's CEO, Darren Julien, that almost all of the autographs in the sale were obvious forgeries. Only one dealer has supported Julien's: Todd Mueller, of Todd Mueller Autographs in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The pleas to cancel the sale fell on deaf ears. All 290 lots of autographs were sold for a total of almost $1.5 million. The only autograph in the sale commonly believed to be genuine brought $896.
A discussion on this site about it, Michael Jackson Signing Styles in Julien's Tompkins and Bush Sale, was started on November 19. At 153 pages to date it is the longest discussion in the history of Autograph Magazine Live. Scores of suspected forgeries from the sale have been analyzed in the discussion. The consensus is that the most of the autographs were likely forged by the consignor, Jackson's long-time friend and costume designer, Michael Bush. The autographs have many of Bush's handwriting characteristics.
Julien's filed a copyright infringement claim against Autograph Magazine Live on December 13. On Dec. 17, our website company removed all the images Julien's claimed violated their copyright from this site pending our response and any further actions Julien's may take. We are legally allowed to use the images under Fair Use laws, and will file our counterclaim this week.
We will have uncontested images of autographs from the auction up starting tomorrow.
UPDATE: According to NBC, Darren Julien said that any client who questions the authenticity of the Michael Jackson autographs they bought in the Tompkins & Bush auction can return them for a refund. If Julien's will cover shipping both ways, that's the best news possible.