BUENOS AIRES—A 70-year-old six-minute film that allegedly features a pre-Marilyn Norma Jeane Baker having explicit sex within an unidentified man is still available after no one stepped up to the plate with the starting bid of half a million dollars during an auction held this weekend at the Borges Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires.
Spanish collector Mikel Barsa had put the film up for auction, alleging it to be the second copy of an authentic depiction of the world famous movie actress. He claims to have sold the other copy—a 16mm version of the same encounter—to a private collector for $1.2 million in 2001. This time, however, critics of the sale, including executors of Monroe’s estate, weighed in heavily in the days before the auction, claiming the woman in the movie is not Norma Jeane Baker and warning that simply alleging it is could land Barsa in hot water.
The Associate Press reported Saturday that Nancy Carlson, a spokesperson for the brand development and licensing company Authentic Brands Group, said that if Barsa went through with the sale, it would cost him “dearly,” and added that just saying the performer in the movie is Monroe invites legal action for "perpetrating a fraud on the public, [and] violating the Monroe estate's exclusive rights to her image and other claims of intellectual property infringement.”
Barsa apparently brushed off the threat, saying, “It’s always is the same story when it comes to Marilyn—to deny, deny, deny and to threaten,” and the auction went ahead as planned, but no one bit. According to Barsa, the threats had their intended affect.
"It doesn't surprise me,” he said, of the failure to attract a legitimate offer. “The latest statements of Nancy Carlson didn't do anything good for all this.”
Despite the apparent set-back, the AP reported, “Barsa said he was still negotiating with an unidentified buyer from Denver whom he said was offering much less than a fair price. But he also said his lawyers were reviewing the matter now that Monroe's protectors warned they would sue him if the sale went through.”