The Mystery of Sharon Tate's Engagement Ring
She was one of the world's most beautiful women, savagely murdered at the hands of Charles Manson's evil family in 1969.
Now the engagement ring that belonged to actress Sharon Tate is at the center of a firestorm of controversy.
The ring is being auctioned off at a memorabilia store in Manhattan. The ring was given to her by director Roman Polanski and the opening bid is $10,000.
Now the auction company Gotta Have It! is being blasted for selling one of Tate's most treasured possessions.
Adam Bardach is the son of Tate's best friend, Judy Dreszner. He says his mother, a former fashion model who died last year, was given the ring by director Roman Polanski as a treasured memento shortly after Tate's murder.
"It's disgusting to me that people are attempting to profit from such a tragedy," said Bardach.
But somehow the ring wound up in the hands of another woman, Suzanna Leigh, another of Tate's friends who starred with Elvis Presley in the 1966 movie Paradise, Hawaiian Style. She's the one now trying to auction it off.
In a sworn 2006 affidavit, Judy Dreszner said, "Suzanna Leigh stole the ring from me in 1989."
Dreszner said she gave it to Leigh to be appraised and never saw it again.
"It was never intended for sale. This is a private symbol of my mother's friendship with Sharon Tate," said Bardach.
Suzanna Leigh denies stealing the ring and says she's the rightful owner.
The auction company is coming under more fire for claiming that Tate might have been wearing the ring when she was slaughtered by the Manson Family.
The auction catalog states: "Since it was her engagement ring she was most likely wearing the ring on the day of her murder."
But Tate's sister Debra Tate says she couldn't have been wearing the ring because her fingers were too swollen from being eight-and-a-half months pregnant.
"Was this the ring she was wearing when she was murdered?" asked McInerney.
"Oh no. I don't know anything about that. I think the only thing she was wearing was her wedding ring," said Peter Siegel, President of the auction company.
Bidding for the on-line auction ends on December 9th.