Monday, October 15, 2018
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Madonna loses bid to stop auction of intimate items

intimate items

Madonna on Monday lost a nearly year-long bid to stop an auction of intimate items, including a breakup letter from rap legend Tupac Shakur.

A judge ruled that the Material Girl had directed her legal action against the wrong target in going after Darlene Lutz, a New York art dealer who helped Madonna build a collection before falling out with her.

Lutz had been the main source for 22 items, including love letters, cassettes and a hairbrush, that were up for sale by auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll until a judge issued an injunction in July.

New York Judge Gerald Lebovits, in a ruling based on narrow legal grounds rather than on Madonna’s claims of violations of privacy, agreed with Lutz, who said that her disputes with Madonna were settled by a 2004 legal agreement between the former friends.

Madonna

Lebovits, in a decision dated last week but made public Monday, also questioned why Madonna was pursuing Lutz and not the singer’s assistants, who Madonna said had handed items to the art dealer.

“If plaintiff’s allegations are accepted as true — that Lutz received the letters through inadvertent actions of the plaintiff’s assistants,” Lebovits wrote, then her case against Lutz is “time-barred and improper.”

The auction house said it would press ahead in July with the sale of Madonna merchandise including the offending letter from Tupac.

In a statement, Gotta Have Rock and Roll said it had been confident about the case and had done “substantial due diligence” before first announcing the auction.

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

“Ms Lutz is now free to do with her intimate items,property as she pleases without any continued interference by Madonna,” Grossman said.

A lawyer for Madonna did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

AFP

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