Late actress Lucille Ball’s heirs are fighting over a planned auction of her belongings, which her daughter says will “prostitute” the star’s memory.
The sale includes love letters from Ball to her second husband Gary Morton, along with her personal address book, the couple’s 1984 Silver Spur Rolls-Royce, and some of her awards.
Morton’s third wife Susie Morton, who was formerly Susie McAllister, a former professional golfer on the LPGA tour, is offering the items for sale.
But now she is facing a fight with Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, from her first husband Desi Arnaz.
Luckinbill wants to stop the auction, which is due to take place in Beverly Hills this weekend, and claims that the items were her mother’s personal effects and should have been distributed to her.
McAllister responded by going to court to seek a judge’s ruling that the items are rightfully hers and the auction can proceed as planned.
Luckinbill, 58, wants the return of seven love letters, her mother’s address book, some portraits and several lifetime achievement awards, and says she will also go to court in a last-ditch attempt to stop the auction.
“It is clear these are personal effects earned by a lifetime of work by someone of great stature in the entertainment community,” the Telegraph quoted her lawyer, Ronald Palmieri, as saying in a statement.
“To demean their true nature, and prostitute their value in monetary terms, is insulting to Ms Ball’s memory and contravenes her express desire that these items were to belong to her daughter after her death,” he said.
The items on sale are described by the auctioneers as a “trove of Lucy-related material” and an insight into the life of a woman who “treasured discretion above all else”.