Auc­tion of Madonna’s panties, love let­ter from Tu­pac halted

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY TOM MCEL­ROY

An im­pend­ing auc­tion of pop star Madonna’s per­sonal items, in­clud­ing a love let­ter from her ex-boyfriend the late rap­per Tu­pac Shakur, a pair of pre­vi­ously worn panties and a hair­brush con­tain­ing her hair, was halted by a judge on Tues­day.

Man­hat­tan state Supreme Court Judge Ger­ald Lei­bovitz or­dered Gotta Have It! Col­lectibles to pull 22 items from its rock-and-roll-themed auc­tion sched­uled for Wednes­day.

The Ma­te­rial Girl had ear­lier sought an emer­gency court or­der say­ing she was “shocked to learn’’ of the planned on­line auc­tion of the Tu­pac let­ter and had no idea it was no longer in her pos­ses­sion.

“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,’’ Madonna said in court pa­pers. “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.’’

Court pa­pers said the Tu­pac let­ter was ex­pected to fetch up to $400,000. Tu­pac, one of the best­selling rap­pers of all time, dated Madonna in the early 1990s and died of in­juries suf­fered in a Las Ve­gas drive-by shoot­ing in 1996.

Madonna, be­hind such hit songs as “Like a Vir­gin’’ and “Vogue,’’ has sold hun­dreds of mil­lions of al­bums. Other Madonna items sched­uled to be auctioned were pri­vate pho­tographs taken at a bach­e­lorette party at her Mi­ami home, per­sonal let­ters and cas­sette tapes of un­re­leased record­ings.

Madonna’s court pa­pers name Dar­lene Lutz, a former friend, art con­sul­tant and “fre­quent overnight guest’’ in Madonna’s home when she was “not in res­i­dence,’’ as be­hind the sale of the prop­erty.

A spokesman for Lutz and the auc­tion house said the al­le­ga­tions will be “vig­or­ously chal­lenged and re­futed’’ in court.

“Madonna and her le­gal army have taken what we be­lieve to be com­pletely base­less and mer­it­less ac­tion to tem­po­rar­ily halt the sale of Ms. Lutz’s le­gal prop­erty,’’ spokesman Pete Siegel told the New York Post. “We are con­fi­dent that the Madonna mem­o­ra­bilia will be back.’’

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