Left: Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image
Madonna has had a bad year. In April, she publicly denounced a Hollywood biopic about her early days in New York, and this month, her former friend tried to auction the singer's stash of personal letters, along with a pair of underwear and hairbrush that still contains Madonna's blonde locks. "It is outrageous and grossly offensive that my DNA could be auctioned for sale to the general public," Madonna wrote in a court summons, according to a Courthouse News report.
This week, New York County Supreme Court Judge Gerald Lebovits agreed with her, temporarily barring the auction, including the sale of an alleged break-up letter that Tupac Shakur wrote to the Queen of Pop.
His reported letter confirmed his long-rumored relationship with the pop star and sparked speculation that he had ended things because she was white. "Can u understand that? 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 allegedly wrote, according to tabloid reports. "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."
Gotta Have Rock and Roll, an auction company, allegedly obtained the items from Madonna's former art consultant, Darlene Lutz. Lutz was a frequent guest at Madonna's houses, according to a court affirmation submitted by Madonna, and the art consultant also allegedly helped Madonna move out of her former home in Miami as well as her New York apartment. During this period, Madonna's summons asserts that Lutz would have had access to the items now subject to the legal battle.
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The potential sale has caused Madonna public relations nightmares. Earlier this month, the auction made public another alleged letter, written to an unnamed lover, that revealed Madonna's disdain for Whitney Houston and Sharon Stone in the 1990s.
"It's so unequivocally frustrating to read that Whitney Houston has the music career I wish I had and Sharon Stone has the film career I'll never have," Madonna allegedly wrote, according to a Rolling Stone news article. "Not because I want to be these women because I'd rather die, but they're so horribly mediocre and they're always being held up as paragons of virtue and some sort of measuring stick to humiliate me." (Sharon Stone has since forgiven Madonna in an Instagram post.)
The auction has functioned similarly to the Sony Hack, where a famous woman's personal correspondences have gone public without her consent. As Madonna points out in her summons, "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." The judge has given Gotta Have Rock and Roll and Madonna's former art consultant until August 16 to respond.
Shakur may have foreseen Madonna's legal scuffle with Lutz in the 1990s. "Please be careful Madonna," he allegedly advises Madonna in the break-up letter. "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!"