A previously unseen tour film made by Michael Jackson at the peak of his career is expected to spark a multimillion pound bidding war when it goes for auction in London later this month.
Many fans of the deceased pop star are expected to battle for the remaining scraps of archive material.
The film was recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1993 on Jackson’s mammoth Dangerous world tour and produced using state-of-the-art equipment, the Independent reported.
But the project was dropped soon after the film was completed, as Jackson was apparently unhappy with the finished product. He sacked the entire crew and the film was scrapped and never released.
He then gifted the sole copy to his personal driver, a Brazilian chauffeur.
The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, has chauffeured famous names ranging from Margaret Thatcher to Axl Rose and from Madonna to George Bush Snr. He worked for Jackson in 1993 when the star was at the height of his powers.
The driver revealed the singer gave him the VHS tape as “a reward or a bonus” for his “transportation services” after he had helped provide transport when Jackson performed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a few weeks earlier.
He only disclosed ownership of the tape after Jackson’s death in 2009 by leaking a very short clip on to YouTube.
But Jackson’s record label and lawyers from the singer’s estate, each of whom claimed exclusive rights, immediately stopped him and the clip was removed.
The two-hour film is expected to sell for more than its 4m pounds reserve when it goes under the hammer on 26 November.
“I’m very excited that this tape is finally going to be seen because of its quality, the amount of cameras used and the sheer closeness you are to the performance when watching it,” said Ted Owen, CEO of Fame Bureau auctioneers, where the tape will be sold.