Tuesday, September 25

Material Girl loses bid to stop auction

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Among the lots the 59-year-old Material Girl singer unsuccessfully tried to stop from the auction block were a lock of her hair, underwear and several personal photos.

Pop icon Madonna’s attempt to block the auction of a handful of her items – including a breakup-up letter from former secret lover, the late rapper Tupac Shakur – has been turned down by a New York court.

Among the lots the 59-year-old Material Girl singer unsuccessfully tried to stop from the auction block were a lock of her hair, underwear and several personal photos.

On Monday, New York judge Gerald Lebovits ruled that auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll had the right to sell Madonna’s items.

Madonna successfully filed a temporary restraining order last July, when the auction was first announced.

She claimed that she was not aware items destined for auction were missing from her personal collection.

She blamed former friend and art consultant Darlene Lutz, who consigned the auction.

Madonna said Lutz “betrayed my trust in an outrageous effort to obtain my possessions without my knowledge or consent”.

But the court has now ruled that Lutz’s disputes with Madonna were settled by a legal agreement between the two in 2004.

The judge also questioned why Madonna was pursuing Lutz and not the singer’s assistants who, according to Madonna, had handed the 22 items to the art dealer.

Judd Grossman, a lawyer for Lutz, called the court decision “a total win”.

Co-owners of Gotta Have Rock and Roll, Ed Kosinski and Pete Siegel, said they would go ahead with the auction of the Madonna merchandise in July, including the letter from Shakur.

Shakur, who was a successful American rapper in the 1990s, was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in September 1996 in a gangster-related incident.

He was 25 at the time.

In the now highly-publicised letter to Madonna, the hip-hop artist had apparently told her it would damage his reputation if his secret affair with a white woman became public.

It is now very public.

Bidding for the letter is expected to be brisk.

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