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Sale of clothes, lyrics in Liverpool auction stopped by Paul McCartney

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The scheduled sale of a cape, suit and a scrap of paper with three lines of lyrics at a auction of Beatles items in Liverpool has been blocked by Paul McCartney's legal team two days before the sale was to take place, Omega Auctions announced in a press release March 18.

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The auction house said the clothing was given to Rose Martin by Linda McCartney about 30 years ago. Martin was his long term housekeeper and nanny to his children who died last year. But McCartney and his legal team say the items belong to him and have demanded the items be returned.

“Unfortunately the lawyers have claimed that Paul would never have given any clothing away,” stated auctioneer Paul Fairweather. “Rose always told the family that it was Linda that had given them to her but as both have unfortunately passed away neither story can be corroborated.” The suit, lot #170, was from the movie "Give My Regards to Broad Street," the auction house said.

According to Omega, Martin's grandchildren regularly used the clothes when dressing up in the 80’s. Following her death, the family had decided to sell them to provide for her grandchildren. The cape and suit had been valued by the auction house at between £20,000 ($33,156) to £25,000 ($41,449). They were to be sold in Omega's The Beatles Auction that takes place Thursday (March 20) at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.

“At the end of the day we've got to make sure that according to the law we give them back to their rightful owner, be that Rose’s family or Sir Paul McCartney and MPL Communications,” Fairweather said. “Our Beatles catalog has been up and online for a number of weeks now so we can only apologize to any buyers who were hoping to bid on these items.” The auction includes 230 Beatles items, including jackets from “Help!” worn by George Harrison and Ringo Starr and a 100-year-old piano that McCartney used when composing the song “Yesterday.”

McCartney posted a message on his website following Martin's death. "We had sad news recently that our dear friend Rose Martin passed away at the age of 92. Rose was my housekeeper since the early 60s and for many years looked after us and our children. She was a very classy lady with a mischievous sense of humour. She was fiercely loyal and our family and many friends will miss her dearly."

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