Heirs spar over Lucille Ball auction in Calif.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Heirs of the late Lucille Ball and her second husband are sparring over the planned auction of some of the couple’s prized possessions, including a Rolls Royce and some of the actress’ awards.
Mr. Morton and Mrs. Ball were married until the comedienne’s death in 1989. He later remarried, and the items being offered for sale Saturday were consigned to Heritage Auction Galleries by his widow, Susie Morton.
She is now locked in a battle with Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, the daughter of Ball and her first husband and “I Love Lucy” co-star, Desi Arnaz, who want some of the items and her mother’s awards returned.
“It is clear these are personal effects earned by a lifetime of work by someone of great stature in the entertainment community,” Mr. Palmieri said 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.”
Both Luckinbill and Susie Morton say Ms. Luckinbill was entitled to her mother’s personal effects as part of the comedienne’s estate planning. But Susie Morton’s lawsuit contends Luckinbill abandoned the items when they were distributed after Ms. Ball’s death.
A phone message left for Susie Morton’s attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Mr. Palmieri said the items would go to either a museum named after her mother and father in New York, or another museum where they could be shown.