The Strangest Items Celebrities Have Auctioned Off That People Actually Bought
Thanks to red carpet events, fancy galas, and multimillion-dollar contracts, celebrities and images of wealth and luxury go hand-in-hand. Still, that doesn't mean stars don't need a little extra cash from time to time! Even A-listers have been known to put up some truly outrageous items for auction, whether it's to raise money for a good cause or to pay off creeping debt. These outrageous celebrity sales prove that people will seriously buy anything...
1. Kim Kardashian's underwear
In 2014, the Kardashians united for a highly-publicized charity yard sale. Items sold included books, pictures, baby accessories, paintings... and Kim's underwear. They made over $200,000 just on used clothing! The proceeds went towards benefiting the No Kid Hungry, and the Greater Los Angeles Fisher House foundations. They were probably grateful to have received the funds rather than Kim's unmentionables!
2. Britney Spears' hair
During a manic episode in 2007, pop singer Britney Spears shaved off all of her hair and chased after paparazzi with an umbrella. Not one to pass up on a little extra cash, the hair salon jumped aboard the pop culture moment and auctioned off the singer's locks for more than $1,000,000. Savvy — yes. Morally questionable — also, yes.
3. Scarlett Johansson's used tissue
In 2008, while filming the Frank Miller-directed The Spirit, ScarJo caught a cold from her co-star Samuel L. Jackson. And we all know what colds mean — excessive amounts of tissue! After catching her co-star's lurgy, Johansson blew her nose not once, but twice on Jay Leno's The Tonight Show. According to the BBC, there was even some lipstick on the booger-drenched tissue. The er... lucky buyer splashed a whopping $5,300 on the germ-ridden rag! The proceeds went to the charity, USA Harvest.
4. John Lennon's tooth
As the story goes, when The Beatles star lost his tooth, he gave it to his then-housekeeper and told her to give it to her daughter, who was a massive Beatles fan. The stray tooth was eventually auctioned off to a dentist in Canada for a whopping $31,200! Talk about the tax man, sheesh.
5. Pharrell Williams's hat
After crashing the Grammys with a comically-oversized hat, Williams auctioned off his headgear on eBay. As the bids started flowing in, Pharell took to Twitter to share his shock at the level of interest, "we started my hat auction at $200 (the price I paid for it) and it's already up to over 10K?" In the end, the $44,100 he earned was donated to a children's charity. Oddly, it was Arby's — the fast-food chain — who bought the hat.
6. Katy Perry's trampoline
One of the props from Perry's cavity-inducing, sugar-filled Teenage Dream tour was a trampoline hidden inside a giant cupcake. To raise some money for Japanese tsunami relief, Perry sold it for $5,000. Other items in the charity auction included a flashy jacket worn by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and Jane Birkin's original Birkin Bag. We hope the winner of Perry's bounce house bagged all three and uses them simultaneously.
7. Hugh Laurie's cane
When House's successful TV run ended in 2012 after eight seasons, the crew raised $1,150 by selling the doctor's infamous cane on eBay. Laurie signed it in silver ink, "Best!! Hugh Laurie XXX," and left a note guaranteeing that it was, indeed, the one he'd used in season two. The kicker — whoever won the bid also had to fork out extra for postage as the auction house wouldn't foot the additional fee for the oversized item!
8. Justin Bieber's hair
Yes, someone did pay $40,668 for a signed box containing a lock of the Canadian singer's hair, but it was for a good cause, right? Back when he still sported his famous bowl cut, the pop sensation gave himself a small trim. Then, he donated a lock to Ellen DeGeneres, who auctioned it off. The sample raked in an impressive $40,668. And as it turns out, the auction was part of a charity sale by eBay, and all of that precious cash was donated to an animal rescue.
9. Justin Bieber's baby snake
After chopping off his locks, Bieber also auctioned off his baby boa constrictor and gave the proceeds to the non-profit Pencils of Promise. Johnson the baby boa constrictor first made his debut at the MTV VMA awards, but don't worry, notes were added to the auction to ensure baby Johnson's welfare after Biebs handed him over. In fact, the buyer donated Johnson to a zoo and condemned Bieber for "using" and "discarding" the famous reptile. Well, that backfired...
10. Lindsay Lohan sold... Lindsay Lohan
In the early 2010s, Lohan was hurting to pay off over $200,000 in IRS debts. Desperate and left with few other options, her agency sold public appearances. For a small fee, Lohan would show up at your wedding or event and awkwardly stand in the corner.
11. Burt Reynolds's Golden Globe
Tough times fell upon this former megastar in 2014, forcing him to sell some valuable merchandise to keep paying his mortgage. One of them was his Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe he won for Boogie Nights. Sadly, four years later, Reynolds died from a heart attack at the age of 82.
12. Justin Timberlake's half-eaten French toast
In 2000, the world was crazy about boy bands like NSYNC. During a breakfast interview with New York radio station Z100, Timberlake didn't finish his French toast. Sensing a bizarre opportunity, the DJ put the leftover food up for auction on eBay. Eventually, the breakfast sold for $1,025, and the money was donated to the singer's charity of choice. And you thought your brunch was expensive...
13. Curt Schilling's bloody sock
A dominant pitcher in the early 2000s, Schilling became a hero to Bostonians everywhere when he allegedly bled through his socks during the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees — and kept pitching. Years later, facing bankruptcy, he sold the sock for $92,613 to Al Tapper, a collector from New York.
14. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth's mouldy wedding cake
A slice of the cake from the 1947 wedding of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth was sold at auction for $730. In addition to this slice of — very clearly moldy — cake, a note with the compliments of Prince Philip and the Queen herself was included. But did the new owners dare take a bite?
15. Eric Clapton's "Blackie"
Have you ever loved an inanimate object so much that you've given it a nickname? No? Well, Eric Clapton has! To raise money for Crossroads, the rehabilitation center he founded, Clapton sold his favorite guitar, "Blackie." The guitar was so popular that it even has its own Wikipedia page! The sale netted a whopping $959,500.
16. Elvis Presley's dirty underwear
Elvis wore the set of underwear in question underneath one of his infamous white jumpsuits during a concert in 1977. Proving that most human beings have some sense of decency, this stained underwear, thankfully, failed to find a buyer when it went to auction. The undies did, however, manage to snag bids to the value of £5,000, but no buyer was willing to match the reserve price of £7,000.
17. J.K. Rowling's chair
The Harry Potter author truly made magic happen while sitting in this chair; she wrote both the Sorcerer's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets in it! Despite looking like it would be somewhat uncomfortable, it sold for $394,000. A pretty impressive sum considering Rowling picked it up for free, "I was given four mismatched dining room chairs in 1995 and this was the comfiest one."
18. Mark Wells's Olympic gold medal
As part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team of "Miracle on Ice" fame, Wells knew what it meant to be on top of the world. Unfortunately, he knew what it was like to fall from the top, too. He was forced to sell his gold medal for $40,000 to pay for surgery.
19. Toni Braxton's music
Six Grammy awards didn't stop Braxton from racking up $50 million in debts; still, she didn't sell her song's rights so much as had them bought right out from under her. And it wasn't just one song that she lost. Oh no! The shamed singer had to part ways with 27 tracks in her bankruptcy case. Ouch!
20. Jake LaMotta tried selling championship belt diamonds
According to the film Raging Bull, the former world champion boxer tried selling the jewels from his championship belt. Unfortunately, the risky business didn't pay off, though. After closer inspection he received the devastating blow — they were utterly worthless. The belt itself, though? Now that was worth a fortune.
21. Gary Coleman's Gap Kids sweatpants
When the folks at eBay discovered that bids on a pair of Gary Coleman's kids-sized sweatpants had reached $400,000, they were in utter disbelief. However, it was later proven to be driven up by fraudulent bidders. Still, they did eventually sell to late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel for $500. Not bad for a pair of teeny tiny sweats!
22. Wladimir Klitschko's Olympic medal
Ironically enough, the world boxing heavyweight champ was able to sell his 1996 Olympic medal for $1 million to help suffering Ukrainian children. After bagging it for their own, the buyer then returned the medal to Klitschko, claiming it belonged with its winner. Aww, now isn't that a wholesome end to the tale?
23. Paul Cattermole's BRIT Award
First finding fame for being the singer and founder of the award-winning British pop group S Club 7, Cattermole's success didn't last for long. In 2014 he was forced to file for bankruptcy after falling on hard times. To make some money, he sold one of his BRIT Awards, netting £66,100, or just over $92,000.
24. Kim Basinger's city
It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes $20 million to buy that village. And that's the eye-watering sum Kim Basinger forked out for the town of Braselton, Georgia in 1989. She had grand plans to turn the 1,691-acre city into a tourist hotspot complete with its own film studio. That didn't pan out, and in 1993 — after losing an $8.1 million lawsuit — she sold it at a loss. Reports suggest she let it go for only $1 million. Real estate sure is a tough business!
25. Britney Spears's used pregnancy test
Unbeknownst to Spears, someone removed the pop star's positive pregnancy test from the garbage at her Los Angeles hotel and put it up for auction. It was eventually bought by the online casino website GoldenPalace.com for $5,001. Well, you know what they say, "one man's trash is another man's treasure." Fingers crossed they picked it up at the safe end.
26. James Blunt's sister
Yes, you read that right! The musician once auctioned off his actual flesh and blood. In the days before Blunt struck it big with "You're Beautiful," he'd hoped to help his sister return home to attend a funeral. Broke at the time, he put a listing on eBay to "sell her" so she could make it to the funeral. That's when millionaire Guy Harrison came to the rescue and paid for her flight home. Oddly enough, Harrison and Blunt's sister were married just three short years later.
27. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's breath
In perhaps the strangest of all celeb memorabilia sales, a person on the street saw Brangelina walking by and captured their air (not much of an item) in a jar. The man then proceeded to place the item on eBay with the caption, "Be the first to win this jar of celebrity air, which may contain air molecules that came in direct contact with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt." It eventually sold for $523.
28. Marilyn Monroe's X-ray results
During a Las Vegas auction in 2010, an X-ray of the iconic '50s actress sold for a cool $45,000. The rendering is said to be from a time when Monroe believed she was pregnant, though tragically, she would later miscarry. And that's not all. There were also X-rays that supposedly confirmed what plastic surgeries Monroe had undergone.
29. Dr. James Watson's Nobel Prize
The other half to the famous duo Watson and Crick — you know, the guys who discovered DNA's double helix — sold his Nobel Prize for $2.5 million after getting blackballed from the industry. Years later, though, a Russian diplomat, Alisher Usmanov, put his wealth to good use. “It was a huge honor for me to be able to show my respect for a scientist who has made an invaluable contribution to the development of modern science. These kinds of awards must remain with their original recipients,” Usmanov said on his feelings about returning the award.
30. Michael Jackson's DNA
Extracted from the King of Pop and placed in a perfume, this piece of Michael Jackson DNA had diehard fans jumping at the chance to wear it themselves. The details of the cost haven't been released, but you can assume the buyer was certainly struck by a smooth criminal. Hair perfume — we'll pass, thanks!
31. J.D. Salinger's toilet
In 2010, the couple who bought the late — and famously reclusive — author's home decided to auction off his commode. The bids started at $1,000,000 to sit where the author surely must have pondered his greatest work of all. The advert for the unconventional collector's item stated, that it would come "uncleaned and in its original condition." Gloves at the ready then!
32. A piano licked by Miley Cyrus
Billboard reports that at a charity auction, Miley Cyrus licked a white grand piano, which then sold for $50,000. To be fair, the piano had belonged to Ruby Rose and had several celebrity autographs on it already. She also treated auctiongoers to a moving speech, “I want all of you to know that I feel beyond grateful to be in a room full of so many…people who care so much about others because unfortunately that is way too rare in the world that we live in today.”
33. Monica Lewinsky's negligee
A floor-length black negligee owned by Monica Lewinsky was part of more than 60 items inspected by prosecutor Kenneth Starr in the case against President Bill Clinton. The items were supposed to go for no less than $50,000, though their actual selling price was unknown. Some things are best left in the closet.
34. Justin Bieber's space suit
Wait... When did JBiebs head out into the great unknown? Well, not a real space suit, but the one worn by Bieber when he paired up with Ozzy Osbourne to shoot a commercial for the Super Bowl in 2011. It wound up being sold to an anonymous bidder for $5,580. Far out!
35. Lee Harvey Oswald's wedding ring
People still have a weird fascination with Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who murdered President John F. Kennedy in 1963. When his wedding band went up for sale, it sold to an anonymous Texan for $118,000. According to Oswald's wife Marina, her husband had left the ring on the nightstand right next to her bed on the day he set out to assassinate the president.
36. A violin from The Titanic
The Titantic's bandleader, Wallace Hartley, famously continued to play his violin as the ship sank in the chilly North Atlantic Ocean to soothe frantic passengers. When his violin went up for auction, it sold in a breathtaking ten minutes to the sum of $1,250,000! It's not just die-hard fans who fork out unbelievable sums on bizarre objects, though. Some of the world's most esteemed A-listers just can't control themselves, and for the strangest reasons.
What: Electro Magnetic Field Detector
How much: $47,000
Is that ectoplasm we spy? Move over Ghostbusters, we can call Lady Gaga now. The pop sensation believes firmly in paranormal activity and is deadly afraid of ghosts, particularly one simply named Ryan. Her solution? She drags her ghost-detecting machine on the road with her to stay safe at all times. You do you, Gaga!
What: bronze O.J. Simpson statue
Worth: $3,250 — Millions
Contrary to popular belief, Flavor Flav didn't actually steal or buy his life-size statue of O.J. Simpson; it was gifted to him by radio host Mancow Muller. In fact, Muller got a pretty sweet deal for the bronze back in 1999 — a reasonable $3,250. Still, the piece is worth a lot of money these days; Flav is apparently trying to sell it for at least six figures.
What: Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton
How much: $276,000
Nic Cage must be making some serious bank because aside from growing his comic book collection, he's splurged on a whole host of other expensive items, including on two albino cobras, an octopus, a Gulfstream jet, a private island, and a $276,000 dinosaur skull. Unfortunately, the skull became the center of a scandal. Turns out, it was actually a stolen artifact from Mongolia.
What: Gold-plated iPhone
How much: $33,000
Have you ever dropped your smartphone and dreaded shelling out $100 to get the screen replaced? You probably won't be able to relate to Victoria Beckham, whose gold-plated iPhone set her back $33,000. Now imagine dropping THAT. Rumor had it that the lavish handset was a 'push present' from husband David Beckham, but an inside source quickly dismissed the tattle, "She's had the phone for ages," the rep explained back in 2011. "Nothing new."
What: Kabbalah bottled water
How much: $10,000+ per month
Despite the Christian meaning behind her stage name, Madonna's spirituality is focused more towards the wisdom of Kabbalah these days. She insists on drinking only Kabbalah-blessed water, which sells for $5 per bottle. And the "Vogue" singer must be pretty thirsty because she orders over $10,000 worth of the holy water every month.
What: A comic book
How much: $2.1 million
Nicolas Cage's real name is Nicolas Coppola, but as a kid, he wanted to be a superhero and named himself after his idol, Luke Cage. As an adult, he's spent hundreds of thousands on comics, including the ultra-rare Action Comics No. 1. It seems the value outweighed his passion for comics, though, because he later sold the issue for $2.1 million!
What: A first-class plane ticket... for his hat
How much: $1,700
Bono is often spotted wearing statement headwear, but his most recognizable piece is a sand-colored woven cowboy hat. In fact, he is so fond of this particular item, that he forked out an eye-watering $1,700 so it could have its own seat on an airplane. There's some dispute over the truth of this tale, but the hat was supposedly a lucky charm for the U2 frontman. We guess that's okay then, right?
What: A private Island
How much: Unknown
Tyrese Gibson purchased a whole island as a Christmas present for his daughter Shayla who was eight years old at the time. He called the top-secret location "Love Island." We're not sure what you make of that, but we're thinking it sounds like we've got to start being nicer to Santa.
What: An ultrasound machine
How much: Unknown
When Katie Holmes was pregnant, Tom Cruise bought her an ultrasound machine so they could look at their unborn child from the comfort of their own home. Although Cruise's representatives declined to comment on how much he spent on the extravagant gift, at the time, the machines would set you back somewhere between $15,000 to $200,000.
What: Nike Air MAGs
How much: $37,500
Expensive sneakers are a pretty common phenomenon, but shoes that cost nearly $38,000 are hard to believe. Still, that's how much Tinie Tempah spent on his Nike Air MAGs from the movie Back To The Future. They are supposed to lace themselves, but we're not sure that price tag is worth the luxury of not having to bend down.
What: A gold bathtub
How much: $2.2 million
Mike Tyson might not look like it, but he's a man who loves a long soak in a luxurious bubble bath! In fact, he loves 'em so much that he spent $2.2 MILLION on a solid gold bathtub. Hey, if you've got it, why not? Let's just hope his cleaner doesn't drop anything that might crack that fancy veneer!
What: Golden tights
How much: $100,000
We know Beyoncé is always bringing her A-game when it comes to her outfits, so regular leggings simply won't do for this member of R&B Royalty. In fact, Queen Bey reportedly spent a whopping $100,000 on just one pair of gold tights. They were designed by Balenciaga, and the flashy purchase did not go down well — even by 2007 standards!
What: A diamond mine
How much: Unknown
Most rich people just buy diamonds, but that wasn't enough for Akon, who purchased a whole diamond mine but wouldn't tell anyone how or why. As for the ethics, an interview with The Independent newspaper in 2007 didn't leave Akon with a glittering reputation. "I don't even believe in conflict diamonds," he announces. "That's just a movie," he asserted. Thankfully, the star says he's since sold up his shares in the business because of the shady — and very real — dark side to diamond mining.
What: A barbie doll
How much: $85,000
Beyoncé may treat herself hard (as she should), but her daughter Blue Ivy isn't left wanting for more either. For her first birthday, she received a Barbie doll that cost her parents $85,000. What's so special about this doll? Blue's Barbie is covered in real diamonds and white gold jewelry. Life in plastic must really be fantastic!
What: A race horse
How much: $55 million
With mother and child happily spoiled, Dad can't be left behind! Jay-Z doesn't really ride horses, but he apparently loves to see them race. He bought a famous champion of the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome, for a staggering $55 million. And it seems the rapper's mogul move was a good choice, "I could not be happier about the reception I have gotten since the news broke. My fellow racehorse owners have welcomed me with open arms."
What: Taxidermy collection
How much: Unknown
“I have a miniature zebra Seth MacFarlane bought me, and a baby horse, but that’s the biggest I’ll go to. They’re twice the size of my dog Finn, and they’re called Kevin Sparkle and Antoine Woodberry. On top of that there’s an owl called Beatrix, a chick called Linda, and a deer called Sha’ Dynasty,” Seyfried to Conan O'Brien while on his show in 2012. “It’s a real menagerie.” Hopefully, she'll stick to animals and won't go full Norman Bates on us...
What: Backyard waterpark
How much: Unknown
People might confuse Celine Dion's previous home for a hotel or a waterpark. She used her land to install an enormous pool in her backyard complete with gazebos, slides, a fire pit, and a lazy river. When she was done splashing around she could also go inside and turn on her $2 million humidification system. The house sold for almost $40 million when Dion sold up in 2017. Shockingly, that was only half the asking price.
What: A mattress
How much: $17,000
Daniel Radcliffe doesn't have the need to show off his wealth, but he does prefer luxury when it comes to the comfort of his home: he spent almost $20,000 on a mattress. For that price, it must be pretty magical, and a lot more comfy than sleeping under the stairs.
What: A movie prop car
How much: A six-figure sum
For those of us who aren't actual wizards but are big fans of the series, a movie prop will probably do. Liam Payne supposedly bought the Weasley family's Ford Anglia for at least six figures. For that kind of money, it better be able to fly. "I bought the Harry Potter car and I put it in my garden. You know the blue car, the flying car? I bought one because I'm a bit of a geek."