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!
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Unfortunately, we're still talking about Mr. Hairpiece. This summer, amidst his corruption trial, the disgraced Illinois governor was faced with an ultimatum. Pay the year's worth of fees he owed Chicago's Boyer-Rosene Moving & Storage for use of their facilities, or see the contents of his 5-by-7 unit go up for auction. They went up for auction. The contents were rather tame, mostly documents, except of course for the life-size statue of Elvis Presley. The proceeds of the auction went to a local charity, the Children's Memorial Hospital, according to the site's owner. As for "Rod the Bod," he's still awaiting a retrial following a hung jury in his first court appearance. There's a joke about "Jailhouse Rock" in there somewhere, but this writer is too high-brow for that.
Suge Knight has had his share of the good times. Most of them involved Escalades, Cristal, and threatening people, but in recent years Knight has also had his share of the bad times. In February 2010, Conejo Valley Moving & Storage sold at auction many of Knight's personal items to recoup thousands of dollars in losses after, surprise, surprise, he didn't pay them what they were owed! Knight, who filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and is said to be millions of dollars in debt, sold off his Malibu mansion in 2008. The auctioned items stem from that real estate sale. The auction, which included personal items, but never got any more interesting than a couple of photos of Knight and deceased rapper Tupac Shakur, netted a minor $4,500 at the end of the day. Deduct that from the $105 million he owes former Death Row partner, Lydia Harris, the $6.8 million he owes his lawyers in legal fees, and the $40,476 a month he owes in child support...yeah, it sucks to be Suge Knight. Sorry, Suge.
Were Ton and Allen able to uncover any celebrity storage units during the first season of Auction Hunters? Enter your bid and find out starting Tuesday, November 9 at 10:00PM/9:00C only on Spike.