Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Whitney Auctions her Assets
Whitney Houston is being forced to sell many personal possessions to deal with her huge debts.
Designer outfits, music equipment and awards gathered during her once-glittering career are going under the hammer after she failed to pay £76,000 fees to keep the items in storage.
Many of the clothes, including outfits by Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani, have been held in storage since Houston's My Love Is Your Love tour in 1999. The singer has since been troubled by drug abuse, marital and financial problems.
Also being auctioned in New Jersey next week are a £150,000 Schimmel acrylic grand piano, drum kits, keyboards, sound equipment, a multi-tier concert stage set, an elevator and a forklift. Houston's corporation Nippy Inc has failed to pay bills for the storage facility Speed of Sound since 2005, forcing the firm to apply for a court order to auction the contents.
Speed of Sound's lawyer, Jeffrey Campisi, said of Houston's legal adviser: "He's been very cooperative, but he doesn't have a cheque to write us."
The sale will include a Versace silk-screened print vest, 29 bustiers, 13 sequined wristbands, dozens of rhinestone belts and the Boston Music Award for outstanding male vocalist belonging to Houston's estranged husband Bobby Brown.
Houston's spokeswoman, Nancy Seltzer, said she had no knowledge of any outstanding storage fees. "She is selling equipment, as many artists do, that is out of date," and stagings and costumes that are "not needed any more," she said.
The auction is set to prove an embarrassment for Houston. Auctioneer Steve Newmark said: "There's some pretty personal stuff in there. Even her underwear is in there. I was marvelling at the waist of some of these (clothes). They were pretty small."
Some of the items on auction....[click on photo to enlarge]