Cherished items of music and movie memorabilia gathered over many years by I’m a Celebrity star David Gest will be auctioned next month.
The music supremo was prompted to begin the vast collection thanks to his close friend Michael Jackson – an avid collector himself – who convinced him he was not buying “junk”.
Such was its size that following his death in 2016 it filled three lock-up storage units in Liverpool, where he also had an apartment overlooking Sefton Park.
Among the items being sold on behalf of his estate are signed items from his many showbiz friends including Jackson, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Al Green, Bette Davis, Jane Russell and John Mills.
Gest, 62, found fame in the UK when he appeared in the 2006 edition of the ITV show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here and a decade later he featured in Celebrity Big Brother.
In his native US he entered the music industry by starting his own PR business, where his first client was soul singer Green, and he later became a renowned music and concert producer.
Gest met Jackson when he was a teenager and his neighbour in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley.
One of the auction lots is 26 pages of an unpublished book by Gest on Jackson typed on A4 paper, thought to be dated to 1984, with the opening lines: “The thought of writing a book about Michael Jackson never really crossed my mind until recently. For one, I hate to write, and secondly, so much has been written about Michael Jackson.
“Most of what has been written is untruths and lies, and it was a number of our mutual friends who suggested I write a book to help set the record straight.”
Jackson was later accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy – with similar allegations to follow – but Gest wrote in his 2007 autobiography Simply the Gest that he knew the singer “inside out” and was adamant he was innocent.
Other items on sale include his birth certificate, his high school graduation yearbook and an engraved Waterford Crystal display piece invitation to his wedding with singer Liza Minnelli in March 2002, who separated just 16 months later.
The ultimate David Gest personal collection will go on sale on July 8 and 9.