Madonna has been handed a defeat by the legal system, with a judge shooting down a lawsuit she filed over the auctioning of several items, including correspondence between the “Material Girl” singer and her former boyfriend, deceased rapper Tupac Shakur.
In a decision filed Monday, a judge cited the statute of limitations, as well as a settlement agreement Madonna entered into.
“Like a Virgin” singer Madonna filed suit against her former associate Darlene Lutz, auction house GottaHaveRockandRoll.com and others, maintaining that the items were wrongfully taken from her.
“This is an action for conversion and related causes of action arising out of Defendants’ wrongful taking of Plaintiff’s property, valuable memorabilia and highly personal items that Plaintiff’s former friend and art consultant, Darlene Lutz, and/or one or more John Doe Defendants consigned for sale at auction to GHI and/or GHRR.com-despite the fact that the memorabilia is not Defendant Lutz’s or any of the John Doe Defendants’ to sell,” the singer’s lawsuit read.
However, judge Gerald Lebovits saw things differently in his decision.
“Even if the statute of limitations does not bar plaintiff’s conversion claims, the 2004 settlement agreement bars this action against defendant Lutz,” the decision reads.
“The release language indicates the end of any relationship between the parties, including the broad waiver for any claims then ‘unknown and unsuspected,’” the decision continues. “Plaintiff new that throughout her relationship with Lutz, Lutz was in possession of various pieces of plaintiff’s personal property … Yet before this action began plaintiff did not make any demand for the return of her possessions.”
“Plaintiff could have narrowed the scope of the settlement and broad waiver, but she did not do so. This action falls under the broad scope of the agreement’s waiver of claims. Thus, this court grants defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint and denies plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief,” Judge Lebovits continued.
“Accordingly, it is ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for preliminary and permanent injunction … is denied,” the papers add.
“We did substantial due diligence when we took all the Madonna items for auction. We were confident that Madonna had no claim whatsoever, and the judge clearly agreed with us,” GottaHaveRockandRoll.com co-owners Ed Kosinski & Pete Siegel told TheWrap in a statement following the decision.
Jeffrey Haas, attorney for GottaHaveRockandRoll.com added, “I was confident in our case and that Madonna’s lawsuit was frivolous. And all the high-priced attorneys she hired couldn’t change that fact.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.