A headline-making letter written to Madonna by Tupac Shakur while he was in prison may not be hitting the auction block after all, with lawyers for the “Material Girl” singer filing an emergency court order to halt the auction, charging that the letter is stolen property that belongs to Madonna.
According to TMZ, the court filing reveals that Madonna was “blindsided” by the auction, which includes Shakur’s candid letter as well as other personal items, including letters from Rosie O’Donnell and a pair of Madonna’s “personally worn panties.”
In fact, the legal documents maintain that Madonna had no idea the letter and other items were no longer in her possession, and she points the finger at former friend Darlene Lutz, an art consultant she’s reportedly accusing of ripping her off.
A day before the items were to be auctioned off, Supreme Court Judge Gerald Leibovitz halted the auction of the 22 collectibles. Lutz and the auction house say that Madonna’s allegations regarding the sale of her possessions will be challenged.
“We are confident that the Madonna memorabilia will be back,” Pete Siegel, a spokesman for Lutz and the auction house, told the New York Post following the ruling.
In the singer’s court papers, Madonna says that just because she is a celebrity doesn’t mean she isn’t entitled to a certain level of privacy, especially when it comes to such intimate items as these.
“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,” Madonna says.
In the handwritten letter — which Shakur reportedly wrote while serving time on charges of sexual assault — he tells Madonna that they need to end their relationship because dating a white woman would be damaging to his cred as a gangsta rapper (Madonna confirmed she and Shakur were an item in a 2015 interview with Howard Stern).
“For you to be seen with a black man wouldn’t in any way jeopardize your career, if anything it would make you seem that much more open and exciting,” reads the letter. “But for me at least in my previous perception I felt due to my ‘image’ I would be letting down half of the people who made me what I thought I was.”
Following the filing by Madonna’s attorneys, a spokesperson for Lutz and Gotta Have Rock and Roll (the website holding the auction) slams the legal action as “baseless and meritless.”
“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,” declares the statement. “We believe that her intent is nothing more than to besmirch the good reputations of the auction house and Ms. Lutz. Madonna’s allegations will be vigorously challenged and refuted in a court of law in due course.”