Once Neil Armstrong sued his barber for selling his hair. The first man on the moon, has threatened to sue his barber for selling his hair to a collector for $3,000.
Neil Armstrong sued his barber for collecting his hair clippings and selling it
Mr Neil Armstrong was a regular at Marx’s Barber Shop in Lebanon, Ohio, where he would go once a month. But he stopped visiting after he learned that the owner, Marx Sizemore, had collected his clippings from the floor and sold them in May 2004.
“I didn’t deny it or anything,” Mr Sizemore told the Associated Press. “I told him I did it.”
Mr Sizemore said he had not initiated the sale but had been approached, twice, by an agent for John Reznikoff, a Connecticut-based collector who has the largest collection of hair from historical celebrities and has also been listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
“At first I told him no, I wasn’t interested,” Mr Sizemore said. “He called me back; then he contacted me by mail.” Finally, the agent offered him $3,000. “That’s what he hit me with,” the barber said.
Mr Neil Armstrong was a private man and rarely makes public appearances and never gives interviews. He heard of the sale almost a year later and asked Mr Sizemore to get the hair back. But Mr Reznikoff, whose collection is insured for $1m (£550,000) and includes hair from Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Napoleon and others, would not part with it.
“I called the person I sold it to and told him,” Mr Sizemore said. “He was not interested in giving it back.”
“I called Neil back and told him that. Then I got this letter from his lawyer.”
The letter claims that Mr Sizemore has violated an Ohio law aimed at protecting the rights of famous people. It threatens legal action if Mr Sizemore does not return the hair or contribute the $3,000 to a charity of Mr Armstrong’s choosing and pay the former astronaut’s legal costs.
Sizemore said he sold the hair to an agent for John Reznikoff, a Westport, Connecticut, collector listed by Guinness World Records as having the largest collection of hair from historical celebrities. The collection, insured for $1 million, includes hair from Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein and Napoleon.
Sizemore, who admits selling the hair, said Neil Armstrong asked him to try to retrieve it. He said he told Neil Armstrong that the buyer did not want to give up the locks. Then, Sizemore said he got a letter from the former astronaut’s attorney contending that the sale violated an Ohio law designed to protect the rights of famous people.
The letter threatens legal action if Sizemore does not return the hair or contribute his profit to charity and asks Sizemore to pay Neil Armstrong’s legal expenses. But Sizemore said he will not pay and has already spent most of the $3,000 on bills.
Reznikoff said Wednesday that he won’t give the hair back, but will donate $3,000 to a charity. He said he donated the donation after reading news accounts that said the former astronaut had threatened to sue.