One piece of information that your neurons probably never fire about is that Kelly Clarkson is worth a million billion dollars. She may seem like just a girl you went to high school with who later became a hairdresser, or your rural cousin's girlfriend who already has a 2-year-old named Braylee from a previous relationship, but know this: Kelly Clarkson has enough money to have you killed and then pay to "make it go away" six times over.
Luckily for us, Kelly Clarkson mostly uses her money to buy boring Jane Austen shit. After her engagement, she told People she was planning a family portrait session (in Regency era costumes) at an estate in England where the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice was filmed. She already owns a first edition copy of Austen's novel Persuasion. And last year she plunked down about $240,000 at a Sotheby's auction for a gold and turquoise ring that once belonged to the author.
But Britain is refusing to let her take it out of the country on the grounds that it is a national treasure.
After Clarkson purchased the ring (legally, at auction, from one of Jane Austen's descendants), British culture minister Ed Vaizey put a temporary export ban on it to prevent her from taking it outside British borders. A campaign led by the Jane Austen House Museum, has been given until December 30th to raise the sum Clarkson paid for the ring in order to buy it back (for eventual public display). Earlier this week, an anonymous donor contributed £100,000 to the effort. The campaign now has another £49,000 to go.
Faced with a similar bureaucratic loophole, Taylor Swift might have elected to simply wear the Shroud of Turin as a headscarf the next time she jetted over to Rome for a gelato tour of the city. Beyoncé might have sold the Dead Sea Scrolls back at a 500% mark-up. Miley Cyrus probably would have yelled "What, you mean this is the Lenin corpse I can't take out of Russ—OOPS!" as she dropped it down a deep, dark well because she's sassy now.
But Kelly Clarkson, an American national treasure who we would never allow to be sold at auction because we're careful with our things, has agreed to sell the ring back for the amount of money she paid for it.
Austen House curator Louise West told the AP that the museum has invited Kelly Clarkson to come visit the next time she's in Britain, which is exactly the same thing as the Louvre inviting her to come visit the next time she's in France, because it is a museum, hence, already open to the public.
In the meantime, Kelly Clarkson has taken to wearing a replica of the ring (see above) that she definitely will not swap out for the real thing under cover of darkness to teach these British boners a lesson about the glory of capitalism.
[Images via AP // Sotheby's]