Madonna auction stopped by court
A judge has stopped an “outrageous and grossly offensive” auction of “deeply personal” items owned by Madonna.
The 58-year-old singer had sought an emergency court order over a proposed sale from Gotta Have It! Collectibles, who were planning to put items including previously-worn panties, a love letter from the late Tupac Shakur - which was expected to fetch $400,000 - and a hairbrush containing her hair.
Madonna stated in court papers she had no idea the note was no longer in her possession and she felt very uncomfortable that fans could “extract DNA” from the items.
She said: “The fact that I have attained celebrity status as a result of success in my career does not obviate my right to maintain my privacy, including with regard to highly personal items.
“I understand that my DNA could be extracted from a piece of my hair. It is outrageous and grossly offensive that my DNA could be auctioned for sale to the general public.
“I was shocked to learn of the planned auctioning of the Shakur letter, as I had no idea that the Shakur letter was no longer in my possession.”
Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Gerald Leibovitz sided with the ‘Hung Up’ singer and has ordered 22 items -
including personal letters, cassette tapes of unreleased recordings and private photos taken at a bachelorette party at her Miami home - to be pulled from the sale, which was scheduled for Wednesday (07.19.17).
In court papers, the ‘Music’ singer named her “former friend”, art consultant Darlene Lutz as behind the sale as she “would have had access to these items on numerous occasions” including as a “frequent overnight guest” in her homes when she was “not in residence.”
A spokesperson for Darlene and the auction house have branded the lawsuit “baseless and meritless” and vowed to challenge the ruling.
The representative, Pete Siegel, told the New York Post newspaper’s Page Six column: “Madonna and her legal army have taken what we believe to be a completely baseless and meritless action to temporarily halt the sale of Ms Lutz’s legal property.
“Madonna’s allegations will be vigorously challenged and refuted in a court of law in due course. We are confident that the Madonna memorabilia will be back.”
A hearing is scheduled for early September.