The trustees of Elizabeth Taylor's estate have hit bosses at Christie's Inc. auction house with a lawsuit following a stand-off over millions from a jewellery sale.
Buyers from around the world phoned in to bid on the late Hollywood icon's jewellery collection in 2011, including the 33.29-carat Elizabeth Taylor Diamond - a gift from her husband Richard Burton - which went under the hammer for $8.8 million (£5.5 million), only for the anonymous buyer to change his mind and pass on the massive heart-shaped gem.
According to the lawsuit obtained by Tmz.com, Christie's paid the trustees before the buyer opted out of the deal, and when the auction house bosses asked for the money back, the trustees refused.
Now, Taylor's estate officials are not only blaming Christie's for the botched deal, they claim the auction house chiefs still owe them millions from the jewellery sale, which also included a $2.9 million (£1.8 million) Bulgari ring and a Valentino fur evening purse.
The trustees allege that Christie's bosses are refusing to hand over the money for all the other items sold at the auction, unless they receive the money from the massive diamond.
Taylor's auction in New York set a world record in 2011 after the items fetched $118 million (£74 million) in one night, making the actress' gems the most valuable private collection of jewels ever sold at auction.
A portion of profits from the sale was reportedly donated to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
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