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The jacket worn by Michael Jackson in his “Thriller” music video sold for a whopping $1.8 million at an online auction Sunday, a day after the two-year anniversary of the singer’s death.
The iconic red and black leather jacket had been estimated to fetch at least $200,000 at the event, overseen by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, which called the $1.8 million winning bid a “record.”
Julien’s said that Milton Verret of Austin, Texas, was the winning bidder; he plans to display it at Austin’s Dell Children’s Hospital and hopes to raise money for children’s charities and hospitals around the world in the spirit of Jackson.
The jacket was given by Jackson, who died in 2009, to his longtime costume designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush. The inside lining is inscribed “To Bush and Dennis, All My Love, Michael Jackson,” and the sleeve is signed “Love Michael Jackson.”
A portion of the proceeds from the jacket’s sale will benefit the Shambala Preserve, where Jackson’s Bengal tigers Thriller and Sabu have resided since 2006.
Actress Tippi Hedren, longtime supporter of the Shambala Preserve, was in the audience during the auction.
“Thriller” which went on to become the top-grossing single of all time; the 1982 album of the same name is the biggest-selling of all time.
Jackson died two years ago from an overdose of the sedative Propofol at 50 years old. The music industry honored Jackson on the anniversary of his death on Saturday.
Rihanna wrote: “We miss you, We love you…often imitated, NEVER duplicated!!!” Jackson’s sister Janet wrote: “I MISS U. I LUV U.”
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