Madonna stops auction of personal items, Tupac letter
Madonna stops an impending auction of her highly personal items that include a hairbrush, personal photos, underwear, and a love letter from rapper Tupac
The Queen of Pop doesn’t care about her fans, a former pal reveals in a startling, sworn deposition.
“Madonna didn’t handle her fan mail. She didn’t care,” the ex-friend, Darlene Lutz, said in a Sept. 27 legal grilling about her attempt to auction off the Material Girl’s memorabilia.
Lutz and Madonna had “a longstanding and extremely close personal and professional relationship,” the singer’s lawyer writes in a new Manhattan Supreme Court filing.
“I trusted her not only as a friend but also as someone who assisted me with private matters, including packing up my personal belongings in my residences,” Madonna says in an accompanying affidavit filed in the case late Friday.
The two had a falling out over a decade ago after 20 years of friendship. Now Madonna is suing Lutz for trying to sell off her “highly personal items” including a pair of worn satin panties and a love letter from the late rapper Tupac Shakur.
Lutz has suggested that Madonna never opened the letter her then boyfriend sent her from jail in 1995, less than a year before he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting.
She claims Madonna’s assistants owned all of the superstar’s fan mail by default as their employer “did not save, archive or store” the missives.
Instead she gave her assistants “total discretion in deciding how to dispose of the mail,” Lutz said.
“How did you … come into possession of the Tupac letter?” Madonna’s attorney, Brendan O’Rourke, asked Lutz at the deposition.
“You’re trying to distinguish between a personal letter or fan mail. And if you put two envelopes in front of you, one from a fan and one personal, and they looked exactly the same, what distinguishes that from fan mail,” Lutz said.
“The point is that Madonna didn’t handle her fan mail. She didn’t care,” she said.
“Is it your testimony that the Tupac letter was in some pile of fan mail?” O’Rourke asked.
“Yes,” Lutz answered.
The Manhattan resident didn’t realize she had the letter until 2008, when she started archiving materials in a bunch of boxes in her Manhattan loft.
“When you finally read the Tupac letter in 2008 or 2009, did it not ring any alarm bells in your head that maybe it was not intended to be given to you?” O’Rourke asked.
“I didn’t consider that,” Lutz replied.
Madonna first learned Lutz had the letter when she consigned it to the online auctioneer Gotta Have it! Collectibles last summer.
She insists she opened it when the rapper sent it to her in 1995.
“I have a specific memory of receiving that letter because I had a close personal relationship with Tupac Shakur and I specifically remember receiving a phone call from him while he was in jail,” Madonna said in the affidavit.
“I also have a specific memory of reading the letter. In particular, I remember that he apologized to me. I never gave this letter away,” she said.
“It is intensely personal,” she added.
The note is a breakup letter that begins, “First and foremost, I must apologize to you because like you said, I haven’t been the kind of friend I know I am capable of being.”
Shakur then explains that he’s ending their relationship because of race.
“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 and exciting. 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 was.”
The minimum bid for the letter was $100,000. It was yanked from the July auction after a judge put the sale on hold following the end of the case.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post.