Iconic pop star Madonna accused former friend Darlene Lutz of attempting to sell off her personal items. These items include handwritten song lyrics, underwear, a hairbrush with her hair still on it, and other memorabilia. Madonna filed a formal complaint in New York on Wednesday.
Now, I know you are thinking, “People try to steal my underwear and song lyrics all the time.” Yeah, me too. But now is not the time for that. We gotta get back to the serious stuff.
In July, the singer obtained a temporary restraining order against Lutz and successfully stopped her from selling a personal letter from a former boyfriend, Tupac Shakur, along with other “intensely personal” items.
Lutz and Madonna’s friendship fell apart in 2004. But according to the singer, she was unaware that Lutz had acquired her tour memorabilia and other personal property. Additionally, she was surprised that her former friend retained the items after all of these years.
According to the lawsuit, Lutz was able to sell off some of Madonna’s personal effects at an auction. However, the critically-acclaimed celebrity insists that Lutz never had the right to do so.
“Plaintiff never sold, gifted, or otherwise transferred legal title to the Madonna memorabilia,” she said in the complaint. “Nor did plaintiff grant anyone the right to sell, gift, or transfer any of the Madonna memorabilia.”
Madonna, whose legal name is Madonna Ciccone, became aware of the situation last month after hearing media reports about the planned sale of the Tupac letter. Madonna said she was “shocked,” largely because she “had no idea the Shakur letter was no longer in my possession.”
Lutz engaged an auction dealer who does business as Gotta Have Rock and Roll LLC to help her sell her ex-friends personal belongings. In total, they attempted to sell 128 items of “memorabilia” through the company’s auction web page. Immediately, Madonna requested an injunction, stopping the sale of 22 of the items.
Despite being unsuccessful with the injunction on all of her property, Madonna made it clear at the time of the sale that she would pursue claims to recover proceeds for everything her ex-friend sold. The artist said she is unsure exactly how Lutz acquired the personal items, but that Lutz helped her move out of her Miami home and had “unrestricted access to the items” on multiple occasions.
“On several occasions, Plaintiff welcomed Defendant Lutz into her homes, including as a frequent overnight guest,” states the complaint. “Defendant Lutz also assisted with the packing up of Plaintiff’s former homes, including a former home in Miami and a former apartment in New York.”
It reminds me of an old song from back in the day:
According to Gotta Have It’s website, an auction for Madonna’s belongings ended on July 29th. The highest-selling item was a corset the singer wore on the cover of her 1984 album “Like a Virgin,” which sold for $19,292.
In her lawsuit, Madonna seeks damages for “wrongful detention and/or purported sale” of the memorabilia, an accounting of all of the property Lutz stole from her, an accounting of the proceeds from any sale Lutz made of the items, and an order that Lutz and the Auction House return her stuff.
Going forward, perhaps celebrities should consult an attorney and create a “friend contract.”