Selfies can be slippery, as Rihanna learned during a Clippers game when she dropped L.A. Police Commission President Steve Soboroff’s iPhone 5 after taking a courtside photo.
But the pop star was able to turn the situation around, autographing the cracked phone and turning it into a charity fundraising opportunity.
Soboroff tweeted a photo of Rihanna snapping the selfie of them the day after the May 9 game, explaining “.@rihanna took #selfie at @LAClippers game. … Ps. She dropped the phone.”
A few minutes later, he tweeted a follow-up photo, showing him mouth agape as his phone lay on the hardwood court, with Rihanna next to him covering her mouth with both hands. The accompanying text said he would auction his “cracked screen @rihanna #selfie phone” to benefit the Los Angeles Police Foundation.
The next day, Soboroff sweetened the deal, tweeting out that he had run into Rihanna at another Clippers game. “Said sorry for breaking my phone & signed it,” he wrote, adding a photo of him holding the autographed iPhone. On it, Rihanna had written, “Sorry I ♥ LAPD.”
Rihanna followed up Soboroff’s tweet with one of her own the next day. “Sorry I broke your phone,” she tweeted, adding that a special announcement was coming.
The big news, as Soboroff announced Tuesday, was that Rihanna would donate $25,000 to a fund for police cadets and fallen officers.
Soboroff then listed the cracked, autographed iPhone on eBay, where it quickly racked up bids. “UNREAL!” Soboroff tweeted Wednesday as the phone’s selling price reached $22,600, mentioning the pop star’s $25,000 donation.
EBay’s official Twitter account joined the action, tweeting a photo of the autographed phone Thursday, the day the auction ended.
In the end, the phone sold for $66,500 after receiving 116 bids, as eBay’s website showed.