We’ve got chills — they’re multiplying. Why? Olivia Newton-John is auctioning off her iconic Grease costume, meaning some lucky super-fan is going to score the leather jacket and shiny pants that transformed innocent Sandra Dee into sultry “Sandy.” Proceeds from the sale of the outfit will benefit patients receiving treatment at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Australia. And, bonus, it isn’t just Sandy’s, er, Newton-John’s iconic outfit that’s up for grabs.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Newton-John is donating roughly 500 personal items (in addition to the jacket and pants) for the auction, with 10 percent of the proceeds benefiting her cancer center. The auction house, Julien’s Auctions, is also selling 200 copies of the auction catalog signed by Newton-John for $300 each, with 100 percent of those proceeds going to the center. Newton-John, who is currently receiving treatment for breast cancer, even shared a touching moment with patients from the center over the weekend.
“We flew the Grease jacket and pants over from America, and several women there who are going through cancer treatment tried on the jacket,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “Their faces just lit up. It was so wonderful to bring joy with a simple thing like that.”
Newton-John also got the chance to say goodbye to what is undoubtedly one of the most sentimental pieces in her collection. “She had a really sweet moment with the jacket when she was giving it to patients to try on,” auction house director Martin Nolan told the Hollywood Reporter. “She held it and said, ‘I get to hold my baby one more time.'”
Not surprisingly, the jacket is expected to fetch a nice sum. Though Nolan has the estimate set at between $100,000 and $200,000, he wouldn’t be shocked if it came close to an existing auction record. He suspects Newton-John’s jacket “could go as high as $1 million,” putting it just shy of Michael Jackson’s $1.8 million red leather jacket from Thriller.
That sort of fundraising potential is, in part, what made Newton-John decide to part with pieces like the jacket and the knee-high boots she wore in Xanadu during the ’80s. “I’m never going to wear them, and a lot of museums and collectors around the world are showing interest,” she said, adding that she likes the idea of some of her favorite pieces contributing to the greater good.
As she told THR, “I’ve had the thought of auctioning the jacket for the last 10 years, and when we started talking about it, the whole world opened up. I’d only been thinking about the jacket and pants, but it also occurred to me that, heck, I can’t take this stuff with me. It should go to people who will enjoy it.”