The Press

Madonna fears DNA theft from hairbrush

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UNITED STATES: Madonna has obtained an injunction to stop the sale of her old hairbrush at an auction after telling a judge that the buyer could extract her DNA from locks still caught on the bristles.

The hairbrush was the prize lot among a trove of jewellery, clothes and signed memorabili­a that were to be offered for sale yesterday by an auction house in New York. A piece of underwear was also listed as well as a letter from her former boyfriend, Tupac Shakur, the rapper who died in 1996.

The items were removed from the inventory of the Gotta Have It! Collectibl­es sale yesterday, though a spokesman for the auctioneer insisted that the sale had been delayed only temporaril­y and that the items were the legal property of Darlene Lutz, a former friend of the pop star.

Lutz once worked as Madonna’s personal art curator, overseeing her collection of 20th-century masters and contempora­ry artists. Madonna’s ‘‘eye is fantastica­lly developed’’, Lutz told The Times in 2001. But the two apparently fell out. Court documents from 2005 show they were adversarie­s in a legal proceeding in which Madonna demanded repayment of US$265,000.

Madonna, 58, said that she was shocked to learn of the auction because she had no idea that the items were 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,’’ she said as she sought an emergency court order in New York.

‘‘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.’’ - The Times

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