Monday, August 21, 2006

Psychic Uri Geller Sues To Get Elvis Presley's House He Bought On EBay

Celebrity psychic Uri Geller and two partners claim in a federal lawsuit that the former owners of Elvis Presley's first house breached an eBay contract to sell the home.

Geller, who gained notoriety in the 1970s for seeming to bend spoons through telekinesis, and his partners are seeking to rescind the sale of the property to Nashville record producer Mike Curb.

Their $905,100 offer was the high bid in the May 14 Internet auction. But after the auction, they made changes to the real estate contract that gave owners Cindy Hazen and Mike Freeman 60 days to move from the property.

"If we had signed the contract, they could have taken possession immediately. We couldn't do that," Freeman said.

Hazen and Freeman then decided to sell the house to Curb for $1 million, a move Geller and his partners claim broke their contract.

For Hazen and Freeman, now divorced, the sale of the Audubon property resulted in the reopening of a bankruptcy case in which they had been excused of $43,000 in debt. With profits from the sale of the home, Hazen said, more than $43,000 was placed in escrow to cover the debts owed to their creditors.

In a court hearing Thursday, Hazen and Freeman agreed to repay the money. "We wanted to fulfill that obligation," she said.

A former lieutenant governor of California, Curb is chairman of Curb Records and head of the Mike Curb Family Foundation, which describes itself as a "philanthropic organization dedicated to preserving music history and promoting music business education."

A Curb spokeswoman said in June that the foundation was negotiating with a Memphis college to operate a music education center at the former Presley home. She declined to name the college.

Presley bought the four-bedroom, ranch-style Memphis house in 1956 with his early song royalties. The singer, his parents and grandmother lived there for 13 months before moving to a two-story colonial house already known as Graceland.

Associate Press