Heirs Fight Over Lucille Ball Love Letters

by | July 17, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Celebrities, TV News

Lucille Ball and Gary Morton After Their Wedding in New York, Nov. 20, 1961 (AP Photo, file)

Lucille Ball and Gary Morton After Their Wedding in New York, Nov. 20, 1961 (AP Photo, file)


LOS ANGELES – Some of Lucille Ball’s love letters and awards will be sold at auction after a judge ruled to block the sale but imposed a hurdle that the comedienne’s daughter cannot overcome.

While Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien agreed to block the sale Friday, he imposed a $250,000 bond that Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill would have to pay to get a restraining order issued. Her attorney, Ronald Palmieri, said the amount is too high and can’t be met.

“We won on a legal basis, and the judge took it away from us on an economic basis,” Palmieri said. “That is very sad.”

Luckinbill is the daughter of the ‘I Love Lucy‘ star and first husband Desi Arnaz. She sought the return of some of the items after Susie Morton, the widow of Ball’s second husband, Gary Morton, offered them for sale.

Ball and Gary Morton were married until the time of the actress’ death in 1989. He later married Susie Morton. She consigned several items to Heritage Auction Galleries, including a Rolls-Royce, some of the couple’s love letters, photos and Ball’s personal items. The items are scheduled to go on sale Saturday at an auction being conducted online and in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Morton sued Luckinbill this week, seeking a judge’s order allowing the sale to go forward. Luckinbill in turn sought the restraining order Friday.

Through Palmieri, she had sought the return of the love letters and Ball’s lifetime achievement awards, which she said would be donated to a museum honoring her mother.

Heritage President Greg Rohan has said the auction house supported Susie Morton and had received documentation from her affirming her right to sell the items.

Susie Morton’s lawsuit claimed that Luckinbill had forfeited her right to the items after her mother’s estate was distributed.

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