Whitney Houston's Stored Equipment, Clothes to Be Auctioned

Designer clothes and tour gear belonging to Grammy-winner Whitney Houston will be auctioned off next week to help cover unpaid storage fees.

Tuesday's sale of more than 300 items is the latest difficulty for Houston, 43, who has been beset by financial issues and is divorcing singer Bobby Brown after 14 stormy years of marriage. Some of Brown's music awards will be auctioned, along with grand pianos, drum kits and a vintage barber chair.

The gear up for auction has been stored since a 1999 world tour, said Jeffrey Campisi, a lawyer for Speed of Sound, a company that has been tending to the equipment.

The company went to court in May after not receiving payments from Houston's company, Nippy Inc., for a year, and is now owed $175,000 to $200,000, Campisi said Wednesday.

Campisi could not estimate what the auction might bring, but any excess money will go to Nippy, he said.

Nippy lawyer Michael J. Connolly referred a reporter to Houston spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer, who did not immediately return a call Wednesday.

In recent comments to newspapers, Seltzer has said the auction is being held to dispose of outdated equipment and costumes that are no longer needed.

The home that Brown, 37, and Houston once shared in Alpharetta, Georgia, near Atlanta, went on the market in November.

Houston also avoided a sheriff's sale of her New Jersey mansion after falling more than $1 million (euro760,000) behind on the mortgage and accumulating $83,000 in unpaid taxes. A deal has been reached on the mortgage, and the taxes on the 10-acre estate have been paid, Morris County authorities said.

Houston has been living in Los Angeles, working on an album.