23 Apr 2010
Note from Bonnie Vent: I did spell check this document, otherwise it is exactly the same as posted by Justice4Michael
Justice4Michael News Section
Exclusive interview with Darren, from Julien's auction...
Esther from justice4michael was able to interview with Darren Julien, from Julien's Auctions, regarding the Michael Jackson auction on June 24th - 25th. This is the UNEDITED version of that interview.
Esther: Darren, first of all I want to thank you so much for taking your time to answer all these questions regarding the upcoming Michael Jackson Auction on June 24th and 25th. I really hope this interview will clear up some misunderstandings there are regarding the Michael Jackson Auction on June 24th and June 25th.
Question: Can you please explain in your own words why you agreed having this interview and the publishing of this interview on www.justice4michaeljackson.com?
Answer: Because it is important to Julien’s Auctions that the fans know we have not done anything against Michael Jackson or his kids. The rumor that these items were stolen came from Joe Jackson after he tried to get money from us for allowing the items to be sold. You have to understand that Michael Jackson is VERY important to our company and VERY important to me personally. Out of all the celebrities we have worked with, Michael was the one who really tried to help put us on the map. We have a commitment to Michael, his estate and children that we will always preserve his legacy and tour the items of his in our auctions to other countries around the world.
Esther: I hope you don’t mind me starting with some personal questions first before we talk a bit more about the Neverland Auction from 2009 which was canceled and the Michael Jackson Auction on June 24th and June 25th.
Question: Can you tell something about your relationship with Michael Jackson? (I mean things like when did you get to know each other, was it based on friendship or strictly business, what did Michael mean to you?)
Answer: Michael was someone we have known for about 10 years. He was more of an acquaintance as he would call me from time to time asking advice on values of items and to keep a look out for items that he wanted to collect. When the collection of his items that came up from Henry Vacarro, we contacted Michael and told him that these items existed. We turned down selling the items because Michael did not want them sold. They then were sold by Guernsey’s and Michael always told me that he was very grateful that we would not take on the auction of these items. When the time came where he had to remove his items out of Neverland, he called and said that he does not trust anyone more than us to go through his property at Neverland and remove them from the premises. Michael gave us a list of items that he wanted to keep and we pulled those items for him. We were then instructed by one of his managers that we could no longer talk directly to Michael. I cannot go into detail but that is when all the problems started. We never had any problems directly with Michael and he never had any problems directly with us. He apologized to us last spring and said that he knows we did nothing wrong. Michael meant and will always mean a great deal to me personally because he cared so much for anyone around him who wanted to do right.
Question: I have a very personal question if you don’t mind, but would you be willing to share with us how Michael’s death affected you?
Answer: - I was devastated. No single person has done so much for me personally and our company over the past 10 years as Michael Jackson has. I have never met anyone who was so caring and unselfish. Even though I would call Michael an acquaintance, there was always a care and love that I felt from him. You never had to question his motives as they were always pure.
Esther: Darren, of course you know all about the fact that the Neverland auction has been in the news everywhere, but still I do have a few questions about it so that it’s clear to everybody that we are really talking about two different auctions here.
Question: Who negotiated the Neverland Auction and can you explain who pulled the plug from that auction?
Answer: Unfortunately I cannot give any details but I will say that Michael himself was not to blame for anything. He hired us to go in because he could trust us and we will never betray that trust even after his death.
Question: How did you get the items for this Neverland auction?
Answer: We had total and complete access to Neverland the all the buildings. We removed everything with Michael’s permission.
Question: What happened to the items you had for the Neverland Auction?
Answer: They were all returned to Michael prior to his death.
Esther: As you know there is a lot of confusion regarding the Michael Jackson Auction and I know many people have doubts and lot’s of questions about it. Before we go an any deeper into the Michael Jackson auction on June 24th and June 25th can you please explain to the fans how this auction is different than the Neverland Auction that was canceled?
Question: Who came up with the idea for the Michael Jackson Auction in June?
Answer: Yes I will gladly explain. 100% of the items that are in our upcoming annual auction the end of June at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino come from family, friends, and fans of Michael Jackson who he gave the items to. Nothing comes from the estate and the estate is not involved in this auction.
Question: Darren, What does this Michael Jackson Auction mean for you personally, and what is your goal for this auction in June?
Answer: There is no celebrity on the planet that has the fan base that Michael Jackson has. I am one of them. I enjoy seeing the fans of Michael come and look at his items for the first time and some cry, some look in amazement and some reminisce about what each item and its history means to them. We will do nothing but first class for Michael Jackson as that is what he deserves.
Question: I don’t want to invade anybody’s privacy but can you tell me where the items for the Michael Jackson auction on June 24th and June 25th come from?
Answer: Most of the family members who have consigned items wish to remain anonymous. If you read the descriptions of each lot, you can tell where many of the items come from. Some come from the artist David Nordahl who Michael hired to paint for him. These are David’s copies of the initial artwork that Michael would approve before David would paint the large works of art for Neverland. We even have items that come from Michael’s sister Rebbie and she has put letters with the items.
Question: Is the estate in any way shape or form involved in the upcoming Michael Jackson Auction? (I mean things like did you have to get their approval for this etc)
Answer: Even though we have great respect for the estate, they are not involved at all in this auction.
Question: Can you tell what kind of items there will be in this Michael Jackson Auction in June?
Answer: Many items from his life and career are in this auction. You can see a full listing by visiting out website at www.juliensauctions.com.
Question: You‘ve said there are family members and friends of Michael involved in this auction by giving items to Julien's, what we don’t understand is why are there some family members and a lawyer saying you stole these items?
Answer: I can only assume that it is about money as to why some of the family members are making the comments that they are saying. We will not pay anyone off under any circumstances. But yes, this auction mostly consists of items that come from family members and friends.
Question: From what we’ve heard back from other fans many of them are upset not only about the confusion regarding this auction but also about the date that has been set for this auction. Can you explain why you chose June 24th and 25th?
Answer: We have done our auction on these dates each year for the past four years. This is an annual auction for us. Some of the fans also got upset last year when we had the auction the day after his death that had been planned for six months.
Question: Can you understand the hurt fans feel regarding the date you have set for this auction? I’m wondering if you ever considered changing the date as a sign to the fans you take the problem they have with this date serious?
Answer: Honestly I don’t understand. Michael’s life is a celebration. The fans that are upset with it are looking for a reason to be upset in my opinion. There is no one who wants to celebrate the life and career of Michael Jackson more than we do.
Question: Many fans are curious about what is happening with the money Julien’s will be earning from the Michael Jackson Auction and they would love to know if part of it goes to charity. Can you explain to the fans what happens to the money Julien’s will earn from this auction?
Answer: Most of the money will go to the friends, family and fans who consigned the items which is the case with most auctions. Colombostile in Italy are donating the majority of the sale of their items to two different charities.
Question: Would you mind sharing with us how it makes you feel that there are so many misunderstandings regarding the Michael Jackson Auction in June?
Answer: HORRIBLE. It is a terrible thing to judge someone based upon a posting that someone else does on a Facebook page without verifying the story or really trying to understand someone else’s intent. I know this happened often to Michael Jackson and I think it is unfair of the few fans who have incorrectly pre-judged our intentions and simply the facts about the auction.
Question: Is there anything else you want to address to the Michael Jackson fans that we haven’t talked about but is important to you that the fans know?
Answer: We just hope that most of the fans will look at this as a celebration of his life and realize that these items are not stolen as fraudulently reported by an attorney.