Judge Blocks Auction of Personal Madonna Memorabilia

MANHATTAN (CN) – Madonna won a court order Tuesday temporarily halting auctions of private and personally sensitive items such as her panties, hairbrush and love letters, including one from the late rapper Tupac Shakur.

On Tuesday, the singer and actress whose full name is Madonna Ciccone filed a summons in Manhattan Supreme Court for replevin and conversion over 22 items of personal property that were up for auction by the collectible memorabilia auction site Gotta Have Rock and Roll.

New York County Supreme Court Judge Gerald Lebovits ordered that Gotta Have Rock and Roll, Darlene Lutz and their affiliates are temporarily restrained, prohibited and enjoined from auctioning the personal property specified by Madonna.

Following the summons, Madonna submitted a court affirmation highlighting allegedly offending items from the auction site.

“It is outrageous and grossly offensive that my DNA could be auctioned for sale to the general public,” she wrote regarding the auction listing a hairbrush with her hair in it.

Gotta Have Rock and Roll’s auction listings note that the pieces of Madonna’s personal property came from Lutz, Madonna’s former art consultant who was described in the listings as a “long-time personal friend of Madonna’s from her innermost circle.”

According to Madonna’s affirmation, Lutz helped the “Like a Virgin” singer pack up her New York and Miami homes.

Madonna noted that many of the auction items were in her possession during her time in Miami, during which “Lutz would have had unrestricted access to these items on numerous occasions.”

Madonna said in her affirmation that she first learned around July 8 of a potential auction of an “extremely personal, private correspondence” between her and mid-90s boyfriend, the late rapper Tupac Shakur.

In a breakup letter sent to Madonna in 1995 while he was in prison for first-degree sexual abuse, Shakur, 23 years old at the time, waxed on interracial dating and fame.

“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 & exciting,” Shakur reportedly wrote in 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. I never meant to hurt you.”

Shakur, who would die from a fatal drive-by shooting a year and half later, warned Madonna to be safe, closing the letter with, “Please be careful Madonna. Everyone is not as honorable as they seem. There are those whose hearts bleed with envy & evil. They would not hesitate to do you harm! Let my 5 bullets be proof of that!”

The list of items to be auctioned also allegedly included handwritten love letters to former boyfriends, L.A. nightclub impresario John Enos and New York City club promoter Peter Shue.

Her letter to Enos purportedly vents her frustration over the success of “horribly mediocre” artists Whitney Houston and Sharon Stone and compares her jealousy to “what black people felt like when Elvis Presley got huge.”

Former boyfriend Shue was the recipient of the white satin panties that were planned to be sold at auction, along with a handwritten letter and a Polaroid photograph of Madonna’s then-new dog.

Currently residing in London, Madonna described herself in her affirmation as a “songwriter, recording and performing artist, actress and philanthropist.”

The auctions also included a set of photographs and negatives documenting a bachelorette party, showing Madonna curled around a bronzed and muscular male stripper.

“The fact that I may 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,” Madonna’s affirmation states.

Judge Lebovits ordered the defendants to file a response by Aug. 16 and granted expedited discovery requests by the same date.

Gotta Have Rock and Roll’s affiliate storefront Gotta Have It! is located on East 57th Street in New York City, across town from the Dunkin Donuts on West 57th Street where a pre-fame Madonna briefly worked in 1978 until she was fired for squirting jelly filling on a customer.

Madonna is represented in the case by Sandra A. Crawshaw-Sparks with Proskauer Rose in New York City.

Lutz is represented by Judd Grossman.

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