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Cher Auctions Key to City on eBay

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She may be the Goddess of Pop, but Cher hasn’t exactly held court as the Queen of Tact throughout her half-century career. Remember the fishnet stripper get-up she wore back in 1989 for the “If I Could Turn Back Time” video? Well, that performance was a class act compared to the stunt she just pulled online.

Maybe times are tough all over. Maybe no one is immune to the economic crisis. Not even superstar celebrities. Like the ones who have sold over 100 million albums worldwide and who are only a Tony Award away from hitting the Grand Slam of show business -- the incredibly rare EGOT.

When famous people are hard up for cash, it’s one thing to see them sell off personal effects. In order to pay for a delinquent storage bill, former CEO of Death Row Records Suge Knight auctioned off private items from his Malibu mansion -- including furniture, gym equipment, and appliances -- while former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield had to put up the whole house.

But it’s a pretty tacky move for a celebrity to hawk gifts, especially those of the priceless variety and presented to them ceremonially. So this week, when the key to the southern Australian city of Adelaide, given to Cher over 20 years ago, was listed on eBay (EBAY) and sold this week, the gift-giver didn’t take it too well.

Current Adelaide mayor Stephen Yarwood said he was “exceptionally disappointed.” Adding, “It must be very embarrassing for her if she is selling it because she needs the money.”

Cher made a pretty nice chunk of change off the brass key and accompanying plaque, given to her in recognition of her performance at the 1990 Formula One Grand Prix. Though the set originally listed for just $125, the winning bid, placed on April 23, took it home for $96,000. The auction winner hasn’t disclosed whether their participation in the auction was motivated by a love of Cher or the city of Adelaide.

In response to the ensuing backlash against her, Cher is claiming to have had no prior knowledge about the auction. “I'm upset 2 and trying 2get2 bottom! I Think my office fkd up?” she tweeted.

The seller, whose eBay user name is Authentic-Cher, purports to be Cher’s “personal consignor” and has sold other items allegedly given and owned by the pop diva. Among them: a “Thank You Certificate” from the Van Andel sports arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a Toronto Film Festival invite viewing of If These Walls Could Talk.
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