Whitney Houston‘s 1986 Emmy has sparked some legal trouble.
“Heritage is hawking the award on behalf of Whitney’s estate—but the Television Academy has strict rules about its awards. According to the Academy, all winners sign an agreement that their heirs or successors must ‘return the statuette to the Academy, and we hold it in storage in memory of the recipient.’”
But according to Page Six, Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions, says he’s yet to see proof that Houston signed an agreement.
“The 1986 Emmy awarded to Whitney Houston was consigned to our auction directly by her family,” Rohan said in a statement. “The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences claims that at the time Ms. Houston received that Emmy statuette she signed an agreement that it would not be sold. We have asked the Academy multiple times to produce that signed agreement but still have not received it.”
He continued, “Why is the Academy now demanding return of Houston’s Emmy when they did not stop over three dozen earlier public auctions of Emmy awards the past decade, almost all of them awarded to white recipients? Based on their behavior thus far, we think the Academy is simply trying to bully the Houston family, and we’re going to stand up for our consignor, regardless of the cost. In addition, Heritage Auctions will donate our entire commission earned on the sale of the Emmy to a charity of the Houston family’s choice.”
Houston won the Emmy in 1986 for outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program for her performance of “Saving All My Love For You” at that year’s Grammys. The statue is expected to go for $10,000 at the auction, which begins tomorrow (June 24).