With Spike's new unscripted series Auction Hunters following Hunters Allen Haff and "Ton" Jones as they patrol the unique and exciting world of storage auctions you're probably thinking: "Storage auctions? Isn't that where they found the Paris Hilton sex tape? Or the Madonna diaries?" Well, you're not far off. In fact, many a celebrity has fallen behind in their storage payments only to see their personal goods ushered off to the highest bidder. Tune in Tuesday, November 9 at 10PM/9C to learn more about the unpredictable world of Auction Hunters.
Contrary to popular belief, Madonna herself never rented out a storage space, but she sure as hell probably wished she had. Instead, the storage space in question belonged to her first assistant, Melissa Crew. Too bad for Madonna, Melissa was a bit of a deadbeat when it came to paying her bills. Crew, according to the owner of the Chatsworth, California facility she rented from, fell behind in her monthly payments for the unit and the storage space was put up for auction in Spring 2010. A still anonymous "hunter" nabbed the unit for a mere $150. It was the best, but also the worst $150 he ever spent. Once he got inside he quickly uncovered a treasure trove of "Madge" memorabilia including personal photos, screenplays, negatives from her books Truth or Dare, and most importantly, 17 journals that were penned by the Queen of Pop herself from 1988-1992. The Hunter promptly put the items up for bid on eBay, but a short while later, Madonna and her army of lawyers convinced eBay that she was in fact the rightful owner of the property, the auction was stopped, and our anonymous Hunter was left with just a bunch of empty boxes.
It's fair to say that Grammy-winning musician Whitney Houston has had her share of problems. Unfortunately, not paying her storage unit tab was one of them. Back in 2007, Houston defaulted on her New Jersey storage unit after almost two years of non-payment. Perhaps celebrities get a little more time to make themselves honest. Despite the lengthy opportunity to make amends on the nearly $200,000 she owed, Houston never came through and in January 2007, 400 items kept in the unit went up for auction. Items auctioned off included slinky evening dresses, sequin-encrusted bustiers and other designs by Versace, Armani, and Dolce & Gabbana. Additionally, a custom made see-through Schimmel grand piano went at auction, valued at nearly $300,000. At the time, Houston's publicist eloquently stated that the singer was voluntarily auctioning off items that she no longer had a need for. At the time, the publicist's pants were in fact on fire.
The hotel heiresses famed sex tape was in fact not found in a storage facility. Instead, what occurred when Paris Hilton bummed out on paying her storage facility bills was something else entirely. Back in early 2007, a 6,000-foot storage unit bearing Hilton's name and its contents went up for auction with the winner nabbing the space for a decent sum of $2,775. The Hunters then flipped the contents which included "steamy" photographs and videos as well as bank statements and phone numbers of her famous friends for a very handsome sum of $10 million to an entrepreneur named Bardia Persa. Persa went on to create the infamous website, ParisExposed.com and charge a $39.97 fee for those wanting to access Paris' dirty underwear. Hilton sued all those involved in the scheme. As for the website, well, the website is now a parking spot for someone else's Internet endeavors. Thanks again, Lawyers!