JACKO AUCTIONEERS TOLD TO BEAT IT

TITO JACKSON has pledged to testify in a court battle over Michael Jackson memorabilia.

TITO JACKSON has pledged to testify in a court battle over Michael Jackson memorabilia.

Music producer David Gest - a close friend of the late Beat It singer - is demanding damages from Julien's Auction House for attaching "from the collection of David Gest" several items they sold shortly after the pop icon's death in June - and has enlisted the star's sibling to boost his case.

Gest claims he never owned many of the auctioned goods - including a Platinum RIAA Record award for the album Thriller - and that he never gave the auction house permission to use his name.

Tito said: "I am amazed an auction house like Julien's Auctions would use David Gest's name to sell an item that was not his.

"There are a number of the items that they listed in their Jackson catalogue that never even belonged to Gest.

"I will also testify that this award disc for Thriller was presented to Steve Manning."

Lots at the auction included a signed Jackson 5 album, which was expected to fetch up to $600 (R4600) at the auction, but sold for $33750, and a childhood painting done by Michael of Mickey Mouse and Pluto, which sold for $25000, 25 times more than expected.

Gest said: "So much for the statement by Julien's Auctions' lawyer that they are 'good honest folks'. I'm sure this will open the door for many others to question items they have sold."

Manning, a former publicist for the Jackson 5, has also pledged to give evidence . Julien's Auctions denies any wrongdoing. - Bang

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