Unseen Michael Jackson documentary fails to sell at UK auction

Scrapped movie from 1993 tour was expected to fetch £4 million

A previously unseen Michael Jackson documentary has failed to sell at a London auction.

The film, which features footage of the singer’s ‘Dangerous’ world tour in 1993 filmed in Argentina, was expected to fetch £4 million last night (November 26).

But a spokesman for the Fame Bureau auctioneers said:

At this stage it has not sold. We are still talking to people, but online it did not sell.

The auction house said it had been forced to remove a brief clip of the video from its website before the online auction after Jackson’s record label made a “copyright claim”, reports Reuters.

The fact that a successful buyer may not be able to use the film for commercial purposes may have dampened demand given the hefty asking price, but the spokesman played down the copyright dispute.

Jackson gave a VHS copy of the scrapped film to his chauffeur, who wished to remain anonymous. The King Of Pop was said to be unhappy with the finished documentary, which is why it was never released, and he also sacked the crew who worked on it.

The driver said he had been given the tape as “a reward or a bonus” for his “transportation services” and leaked a very short clip of the film online in 2009 after Jackson’s death, but was stopped by the singer’s record label and lawyers who claimed exclusive rights to the film.

However, although he is forbidden by US law from distributing copies, he does have the right to sell or transfer the VHS to third parties.

Since his death in 2009, there has been a slew of Jackson-related memorabilia sold at auction houses. In June of this year, the jacket that the singer wore in the 1983 ‘Thriller’ video was put up for auction, along with his famous white glove and a fedora he wore onstage.

Earlier this month, meanwhile, a pair of silk pyjamas and a bed he once slept in were sold in Ireland (November 8).