August 25, 2009

Bidder for crypt above Monroe backs out

An eBay bidder from Japan who agreed to pay $4.6 million for the mausoleum crypt above Hollywood sex symbol Marilyn Monroe has backed out of the deal.

The Los Angeles Times reported the winning bidder e-mailed seller Elsie Poncher Monday, shortly after receiving an invoice, and called off the sale.

I am awfully sorry, but I need to cancel this because of the paying problem, the message said.

The 11 other bidders who offered to pay at least $4.5 million for the tomb at California's Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park were told they had 24 hours to make an offer, the Times said.

The crypt currently is occupied by Poncher's husband Richard, who died 23 years ago at 81. He reportedly bought the crypt and one beside it from baseball great Joe DiMaggio, Monroe's ex-husband, in 1954.

The Times said Elsie Poncher plans to pay off the more than $1 million mortgage on her Beverly Hills home with the money she earns from the eBay sale, then move her husband's remains to the other crypt, which had been intended for her. She is expected to be cremated after she dies.

The bidding for the tomb reportedly started at $500,000 Aug. 14.