Judge will not allow auction of Madonna's personal items

A New York state judge on Thursday said an online auction of Madonna's personal items including worn satin panties, a hair brush with her hair, and a break-up letter from a former boyfriend, late rapper Tupac Shakur, cannot go forward.

Supreme Court Justice Gerald Lebovits in Manhattan let stand his July 18 temporary restraining order blocking the sale of 22 items by Gotta Have It Collectibles. Lebovits will on Sept. 6 consider whether to issue a preliminary injunction.

Darlene Lutz, a former friend of Madonna, had consigned the items for auction. Madonna's lawyers said they were stolen after Lutz helped the Material Girl, whose given name is Madonna Ciccone, move out of a Miami home in the mid-1990s.

At a hearing, Lebovits said 'Ms. Ciccone has made a strong likelihood' of showing she would prevail, and said he 'sincerely doubts' she lost her rights by waiting two decades to sue.

'There is no prejudice to Ms. Lutz or to the auction house, because if anything the property will increase in value if the court finds for Ms. Lutz,' the judge added.

Lutz's lawyer Judd Grossman and Madonna's lawyer Brendan O'Rourke declined to comment.

The 22 items were among 128 up for an auction that was to have begun on Wednesday.

Madonna claimed in court papers she would face 'irreparable harm' from a sale of 'extremely private and personally sensitive belongings.'

But Grossman said she gave up her rights in a 2004 settlement with Lutz, with whom she had a falling out.

'Every day this TRO remains in place....is another day that the world believes my client is a thief,' Grossman said.

O'Rourke countered that the 58-year-old singer 'has lots of personal items, as you can imagine,' stored in many places, but this did not make them 'any less' hers.

'My client frankly wasn't thinking about these specific items until she saw them being auctioned,' he said. 'That's when the light bulb went on over her head.'

O'Rourke said it was only recently that Lutz unlawfully took possession, after Madonna learned where the items were, asked for their return, and was refused.

Lebovits held the hearing after Grossman complained that the TRO was issued at Madonna's behest before he could object.

The judge found no foul play, alluding to a song from Madonna's 1990 album 'I'm Breathless.'

'I wanted to know whether there was any hanky panky on the part of the plaintiffs,' Lebovits said.

From Reuters Via Yahoo! News


Judge yanks Madonna's Tupac letter, hairbrush, panties from auction

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 best-selling 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.'

From USA Today / AP


A Family Affair!


Madonna describes her struggle to adopt daughter Mercy from Malawi

Madonna shared new insight on the challenges she faced adopting daughter Mercy James from Malawi as she opened a new pediatric surgery and intensive care center in the African country Tuesday.

The hospital, which she named after Mercy, is the first of its kind in Malawi.

Madonna said the judge on her case would not allow her to adopt Mercy because she was divorced, according to People.

'She informed me, as a divorced woman, that I was not fit to raise children and that Mercy was better off growing up in an orphanage,' she told the audience.

But that didn't stop her from fighting for then four-year-old Mercy, who is now 11.

'I am a rebel heart. But I am also a compassionate and intelligent human being,' Madonna said. 'And if you cannot give me a logical reason for the word 'no,' then I will not accept the word 'no.''

Mercy James also gave brief remarks.

'It is a great honor to know this hospital is named after me,' she said, according to CNN. 'But what's more important is that we may help many kids and save many lives.'

From USA Today


All the Biggest Moments From Madonna's Decade - Plus of Charity Work in Malawi

More than a decade of charity work in Malawi came full-circle for Madonna on Tuesday when, after opening a children's hospital wing in the impoverished South African country, its president named the pop star 'the daughter of this nation.'

And while President Peter Mutharika's phrasing was meant to reference Madonna's own adoption of four children from Malawi, the singer has tight enough connections of her own to the country for it to feel like home. Since founding the nonprofit Raising Malawi in 2006, the charitable star has led a continuous effort to support the nation's orphaned or otherwise vulnerable children - whether through hosting benefits, producing a documentary and, now, opening the Mercy James Institute of Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, the first of its kind in the country.

The singer's efforts haven't come without inevitable road blocks - not to mention a few controversies. But if our roundup of the landmark moments in Madonna's charity efforts in the African country is any indication, the singer will continue to be a 'daughter' of Malawi for years to come.

To read the rest of the article visit: www.billboard.com


The Day has Finally arrived and so have we!


Madonna takes kids back to Malawi to open hospital

US pop superstar Madonna on Tuesday took her four adopted Malawian children to the opening of a paediatric hospital wing that her charity has built in their home country.

Standing alongside President Peter Mutharika, she unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of the 50-bed facility in Malawi's second city of Blantyre.

The Mercy James Institute of Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care - named after one of her children - has taken two years to build and includes three specialist operating theatres.

It is the first health unit for children in the southern African nation, and will doubled the capacity for paediatric care at the Queen Elizabeth hospital.

Madonna, who set up her 'Raising Malawi' charity in 2006, was greeted by traditional dancers and given a one-hour tour of the hospital, which was decorated with national flags and bunting.

The wards have been designed with murals including images of Nelson Mandela and archbishop Desmond Tutu, while US actor Leonardo DiCaprio was listed on a wall as a major benefactor.

Mutharika cut a blue ceremonial ribbon, and held it up to the cheering crowd.

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Madonna has not always been welcomed with open arms in one of the world's poorest countries, where some activists accuse her of using her wealth to short-cut the adoption process.

In 2013, she was stripped of her official VIP status in Malawi by then president Joyce Banda's government, which accused her of being 'uncouth' and expecting gratitude for her adoptions.

President Mutharika has since moved to repair the relationship, previously saying his government had 'always been grateful for the passion Madonna has for this country'.

'Malawi needs such kind-hearted people to prosper,' Malita Ndau, a 20-year-old woman selling doughnuts in Blantyre, told AFP. 'Malawian children will now have a chance of survival because of this hospital.'

The new hospital wing opened to patients last week and has already performed its first surgery.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Madonna at opening of children's wing of Malawi hospital

Madonna is in Malawi for the official opening of a hospital children's wing that her charity funded.

The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, was built in collaboration with Malawi's health ministry. It has already started some activities and the pop star said last week that the institute had completed its first surgery.

President Peter Mutharika was to attend the official opening Tuesday.

Madonna has adopted four children from Malawi: David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere. The children's wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy.

Madonna's charity, Raising Malawi, has built schools in the southern African country and funded the new pediatric unit, which began construction in 2015. Madonna, 58, visited the site last year.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Events: 12th Annual Brisbane Madonna Party

Australia's biggest and longest-running MADONNA PARTY celebrates the Queen of Pop's birthday and 25 years of the infamous 'EROTICA' album.

SATURDAY 19 AUGUST 2017

Strike a pose and get into the groove!
Upstairs at The Wickham is transformed into a dance club playing only the music of Madonna - 1980s, 1990s, Noughties & Now!

FROM 7PM: Grab a drink from the bar, meet other fans and check out a fan-compiled video retrospective of Madonna rare clips, performance footage and music videos
8.30PM - 12.00AM: Our DJ brings us a dance party playing nothing but Madonna music - the greatest hits and fan favourites. From 'Everybody' to the songs of 'Rebel Heart'.
With dancefloor, licensed bar, roving photographers, themed artwork & more!
PRIZES FOR THE BEST DRESSED AND BEST VOGUER!

Wickham Hotel, 308 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley
TICKETS $15 + booking fee (presale) $20 (at the door)
18+ event
This SOLD OUT last year - prebook now!

Buy tickets online here: www.stickytickets.com.au

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Events: MadonnathonNYC Madonna Boat Party!

Calling all Rebel Hearts! You're are invited to a unique madonna dance party experience! Join your friends for a 3-hour cruise with taking in breathtaking views of Manhattan ! If you joined us last year, you know how much fun we had, don't miss it, this summer during NYC LGBT Pride Month!

+Everyone will get Madonna Giveaways all Night courtesy of Interscope Records
+Win Madonna sunglasses Courtesy of SKULL RIDERS
+Major Madonna prizes to be won, including an in-store MUSIC poster!
+Everyone will get Free Ice Cream will be given out courtesy of ARTIC ZERO

CASH-ONLY BAR & CASH-ONLY BUFFET

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW AT: www.eventbrite.com or www.madonnathonNYC.com

Ticket Price:
$35 (early bird) $40
You must be 21 to enter this event

LUCILLE YACHT – 7:00pm - 11:00pm Wednesday 19 July (approximate times - subject to change)

Tickets are limited, you can buy tickets before boarding but there's no guarantee that there will be any left. So we advise you to buy them online!

The party starts just before 7pm and we Don't Stop The Music til just before 11pm on this multi-level dance party cruise! Drinking, Dancing, and Partying on a yacht with breathtaking views of the NY Skyline and Statue of Liberty is the very definition of how to party in the summer....so grab your friends, family, co-workers, whomever....and purchase tickets for this ultimate late night summertime event.

July 19 boat party

Pediatric unit built by Madonna in Malawi to open July 11

Madonna says the children's wing at a hospital in Malawi she has been building for two years completed its first surgery last week and will officially open July 11.

The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, had a soft opening and is the first of its kind in Malawi. It was built in collaboration with the Malawian Ministry of Health.

'When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that,' Madonna said in a statement to The Associated Press.

'I'd like to thank everyone who has joined me on this unbelievable journey. What started out as a dream for Malawi and her children has become a reality, and we couldn't have done it without your support,' she added.

Madonna adopted four children, David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere from Malawi. The children's wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy.

The pop star's charity, Raising Malawi, has built schools in Malawi and has funded the new pediatric unit, which began construction in 2015. Madonna, 58, visited the site last year.

The children's unit includes three operating rooms dedicated to children's surgery, a day clinic and a 45-bed ward. It will enable Queen Elizabeth hospital to double the number of surgeries for children and will provide critical pre-operative and post-operative care. It also includes a playroom, an outdoor play structure and inspirational murals curated by Madonna and other artists.

Sarah Ezzy, executive director of Raising Malawi, said the charity has been working with Queen Elizabeth hospital since 2008, helping the hospital's chief of pediatric surgery, Dr. Eric Borgstein, develop a training program.

'Pediatric intensive care is not something that has formally existed in Malawi. There hasn't been any training on it. It's not part of the curriculum in nursing school (or) medical school. People had to leave the country to train....now people don't have to leave the country to train,' Ezzy said in an interview. 'This facility is attached to the college of medicine and nursing so it will be a learning, teaching hospital.'

Trevor Neilson, who works at Charity Network and has been advising Madonna's philanthropic efforts for the last six years, said 'only someone like Madonna could do this. If you weren't Madonna, you would have given up a long time ago.'

'Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, will be saved by the hospital in the course of it operating,' added Neilson, who has worked on charity projects with Bill Gates, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Bono and others.

Madonna founded Raising Malawi in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi's orphans and vulnerable children.

'Malawi has enriched my family more than I could have ever imagined. It's important for me to make sure all my children from the country maintain a strong connection to their birth nation, and equally important to show them that together as humans we have the power to change the world for the better,' Madonna said.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


#WeAreRaisingMalawi #July11 #OpeningDay #Countingdown

After many years of hard work and support from partners and donators from around the world, Madonna and Raising Malawi are delighted to announce that The Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will officially open on July 11, 2017!

Join the event now and start sharing the info, posts and photos we’ll be adding throughout the week and until July 11 with your friends, family and fellow Madonna fans!

#WeAreRaisingMalawi #July11 #OpeningDay #Countingdown


The Mercy James Centre To Open July 11

After two years of hard work and support from partners and donators from around the world, Madonna and Raising Malawi are delighted to announce that The Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will officially open on July 11, 2017!

Thanks to every nurse, doctor, company, construction foreman (the list goes on) who have dedicated time, energy and effort to making this project a success. The facility will be the country’s first and only pediatric surgery and intensive care unit.

To celebrate her birthday back in 2016, Madonna launched a fundraising campaign with Omaze, inviting her fans to help create a 'Rebel Heart' playroom in the pediatric facility. The new space is now ready to provide a calm, joyful space for the children to play and learn, which will help improve both their physical and emotional health. Later that year, Madonna hosted a special event at Art Basel Miami to benefit Raising Malawi and the Mercy James Centre. Profits from the evening were used to fill the hospital with equipment, surgeons and medical personnel.

Stay tuned to Raisingmalawi.org and Madonna.com, within the next days for more info and interesting facts about the hospital, its doctors and nurses, and for ways to get involved and to be a part of this historical and fantastic event!

From Madonna.com

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Buy Madonna's childhood home in Rochester Hills for $479,000

A home once lived in by a young Madonna that later was remodeled following arson was put on the market Thursday for nearly five times its previous sale price.

The two-story 2,700-square-foot colonial features five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a total of 14 rooms, according to the RE/MAX listing, which states it was built in 1969 and last remodeled in 2017.

It is listed for sale at $479,000.

The listing was not shy about touting the home’s claim to fame.

'Madonna’s childhood home!! Gorgeous, wonderful, 10+++ condition home has been fully remodeled with beautiful taste!!,' it states.

As Madonna Ciccone, the music icon spent some of her younger years as one of six siblings living in the house.

Associate broker Robert Kabbani said the current owners bought the home in 2012 for $91,000 and had to remodel the residence because of a 2008 fire that was attributed to arson.

After the blaze, the home was boarded up after extensive smoke and fire damage throughout the home. Authorities believed the fire started in the living room. Kabbani said he wasn’t sure how long Madonna lived in the home, but her parents owned the house until 2001. He said one man bought it off eBay and then sold it to another person who owned it until about 2008.

Erika Juhl, 60, and her husband Daniel Juhl, 58, currently own the house. Erika Juhl said she had no idea Madonna once lived there when she first looked at it.

'1.22 acres in the heart of Rochester Hills was very appealing to me, and I love to garden, and so the damage on the house didn’t deter us,' Juhl said. 'It was more the land we were interested in.'

During the closing process, her brother-in-law mentioned that Madonna grew up in the area, so Juhl did what anyone would do. She Googled to find out where.

'I went online and typed in β€˜Madonna’s childhood home,’ and lo and behold, there’s the picture of the house we just made the offer on,' Juhl said, laughing.

The Oakland County house is located on a cul-de-sac at 2036 Oklahoma, north of Walton Boulevard and east of Texas Avenue in the subdivision Hitchman’s Haven Estates.

According to the description, the home has hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, a 'dazzling kitchen' with custom oak cabinets, oak countertops and a porcelain farmhouse sink. An open family room leads to a screened in porch and covered patio.

For the rest of the story and more pictures visit: www.detroitnews.com

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