Pull up a chair, because there's no fight like a fight with a fancy-schmancy auction house—particularly when Hollywood diamonds are involved.
You see, Christie's auction off a bunch of Elizabeth Taylor's personal effects in 2011 and 2012, the Los Angeles Times reports. Among them was her heart-shaped diamond "Taj Mahal" pendant, a 40th birthday gift from Richard Burton. (Of course.) It went for $8 million to a mystery buyer. But apparently the mystery buyer wasn't happy, because he was operating under the assumption it was a genuine historic artifact:
The dispute focuses on an inscription on the piece that bears the name of a Mughal emperor's wife. The empire, which covered a swath of southeast Asia, existed from the 16th to the mid-19th centuries.
Months after the diamond's sale, the buyer — who is known only to the auction house — demanded that the sale be canceled based on the buyer's contention that the stone was not from the Mughal period, according to the lawsuit filed by trustees of Taylor's estate.
What, a diamond that belonged to Elizabeth fucking Taylor isn't good enough for you? It has to be some empress's tchotchke, too?
Now, Taylor's estate is howling bloody murder. According to their recently filed lawsuit, Christie's canceled the sale, but as they'd already paid the estate, they demanded the money back. The estate says Christie's never guaranteed the necklace's provenance and they're not supposed to cancel sales, anyway, so they refused to pony up. According to the lawsuit, Christie's is retaliating by withholding money and items that are due to Taylor's estate. A spokesperson for Christie's simply told the Times that they'd sold $183.5 million worth of shit for the Elizabeth Taylor Trust and they're just looking to get "a small portion of these proceeds" back.
I hope the mystery buyer was this guy:
Photo via Getty.