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Judge unimpressed with Madonna’s housing lawsuit

In the eyes of the law, Madonna’s no different than a door-to-door salesman or even a jailbird.

That was the position of a no-nonsense Manhattan judge who said that the superstar’s lawsuit against her Central Park West co-op to skirt building rules belongs in Housing Court with average New Yorkers.

“Let’s say your client were a traveling salesperson or away in college or serving a brief period in jail, wouldn’t your client be as protected then as she is now going on tour and spending an inordinate amount of time in hotels?” Judge Gerald Lebovits asked Madonna’s lawyer in court Monday.

“It’s the same principle,” he said.

The “Like a Virgin” singer is suing One West 64th Street over a strict residency requirement that says her children and domestic servants aren’t allowed inside her $7.3 million unit while she’s not there.

Madonna has four children — Lourdes Leon, 20, Rocco Ritchie, 16, David Banda Ritchie, 11, and Mercy James, 10.

The building’s board implemented the new rule in 2014.

“Certainly such a requirement is ridiculous and impossible for almost any family to comply with, and certainly not someone with plaintiff’s itinerant schedule,” Madonna’s April lawsuit says.

Her attorney, Stuart Shaw, told the judge that he submitted a sworn statement from his client that explains her lifestyle.

“She has homes all around the world, she travels extensively, she has a house in California, she has a house in Europe. She goes on tours, she spends an inordinate amount of time in hotels, yet the places she calls home is 64th Street,” Shaw said.

Judge Lebovits was not impressed.

“There’s a landlord-tenant relationship between your client and the cooperative corporation and they could bring a Housing Court action to evict,” he said.

Shaw argued that his international pop star client “should not have to wait to defend an eviction proceeding.”

The building’s attorney, Patrick J. Sweeney, said the suit should be tossed because Madonna waited too long to file it. In court papers he also argued that Madonna cannot “credibly claim she was treated any differently from every other shareholder.”

The judge said he’d issue a written decision to determine in the coming weeks.

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Elvis Duran on interviewing Madonna

“She was one of the most difficult interviews I’ve ever done. I was disappointed. She just wouldn’t give a straight answer. Maybe she wanted to be a bad girl just for the sake of being a bad girl. But while I didn’t love it, I’d still love to keep interviewing her. I want to get it right!”

“She’s a pioneer,” he says. “She pioneered that superstar edge that says, ‘I’m going to do it my way and succeed no matter what anyone says.’ And as much crap as she got for being herself, she never strayed. She was always true to herself.”

Elvis Duran on Madonna

People magazine

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Camille Paglia hits back at Madonna

Madonna made waves at the Billboard Women in Music event with her powerful speech about sexism, ageism, and misogyny, but feminist Camille Paglia is hitting back at the iconic singer for her claims that she was rebuffed when looking for female support at the start of her career.

Here’s Camille Paglia complete response:

“Madonna is one of the most creative and influential women artists of the modern era. She transformed music and dance and produced stunning videos that were among the major works of art of the late twentieth century. She single-handedly broke the power of the Stalinist puritans of old-guard feminism and was instrumental in the triumph of pro-sex feminism in the 1990s.

Hence it is truly tragic to see Madonna descend into embarrassing displays of maudlin self-pity and irrational accusations against others. She is turning into a horrifying combination of delusional, vampiric Norma Desmond and bitter Joan Crawford on the bottle.

I was Madonna’s first major defender, when she was still considered a pop tart and a sham puppet created by shadowy male producers. In my ultra-controversial 1990 op-ed on her in the New York Times, ‘Finally, a Real Feminist’, I hailed her cutting-edge work and celebrated her embrace of sex, beauty, and Hollywood glamour, which had been under attack for the past quarter century of dreary second-wave feminism. I was widely attacked for my finale, which was dismissed as preposterous but which in fact came true: ‘Madonna is the future of feminism’.

It is absolutely ridiculous for Madonna to now claim that she longed to ally with other women at the start of her career but was rebuffed from doing so. The media, in the U.S. and abroad, constantly asked Madonna about me or tried to bring us together, and she always refused.

For example, in 1994, Esquire magazine asked me to interview her for a cover story, but she rejected the proposal. Instead, they got the geriatric novelist Norman Mailer, who knew nothing about Madonna or popular music, with predictably vapid results. HBO wanted to film Madonna and me conversing at a restaurant. Again, she rejected it. And Penthouse too proposed a joint cover story that was shot down.

The real issue is that while Madonna’s world tours have remained highly successful, her artistic development has been stalled for 20 years. The last truly innovative work she did was with electronica producer William Orbit. Madonna has become a prisoner of her own wealth and fame. Her most authentic ideas were inspired by her childhood rebellion against the repressive code of American Catholicism.

When she switched over to Hollywood chic Kabbalah, with its easy-going ethic and pat bromides, she lost her creative drive. Furthermore, Madonna seems to lack the humility and persistence that are required for the study of serious art. She collects art for display, but obviously it has not broadened or deepened her imagination.

The number one issue in Madonna’s current path of self-destruction is her embarrassing inability to deal with aging. She has failed to study the example of her great role model, Marlene Dietrich, who retained her class and style to the end. Madonna keeps chasing after youth, humiliating herself with vulgar displays, like the horrendously trashy, buttock-baring outfit she wore to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala in May.

She has become a cringe-making pastiche of ratty blonde hair extensions and artificially swollen cheeks, obscuring the magnificent classic bone structure that made her one of the most photogenic celebrities of the 1990s. In her struggles to stay relevant, Madonna has debased herself with adolescent, pitifully inept Instagrams that cannot compete with Rihanna’s brilliant work in that genre.

Instead of lugubrious rants and hysterical recriminations, perhaps Madonna should try a little honest self-critique.”

Daily Mail


Madonna biopic ‘Blond Ambition’ tops The Black List

Elyse Hollander’s Madonna biopic “Blond Ambition” is the top script on the 2016 The Black List, the annual compilation of most-liked screenplays in Hollywood that are yet to be produced.

The script is set in the 1980s New York and chronicles Madonna’s struggles to get her first album released while navigating fame, romance, and a music industry that views women as disposal.

The script received maximum 48 votes to top the list, which features 73 scripts this year.

Other stories that have been well-liked on the list include “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman’s “Life Itself”, a multi-generational love story.

The script earned 35 votes to tie with Tony Tost’s “The Olympian”, the true story of an underdog rower trying to make it into the 1984 Olympics and Liz Hannah’s “The Post”, again a true story about how Washington Post’s scion Katherine Graham and editor Ben Bradlee overcame their differences to publish the story about the Pentagon Papers. read more →

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Lady Gaga praises Madonna

@Madonna your speech at the Billboard Music Awards was inspiring. You’re so brave & strong. Thanks for being that for us girls we need that.

Lady Gaga via Twitter

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The Story Behind Madonna’s Red Carpet Gucci Suit at the Billboard Women in Music Awards

Madonna has long been a trailblazer in music and fashion, and earlier this week she pulled a first of the most irreverent kind by twerking for James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. The singer took her place at the top of a list of seriously talented artists on the red carpet of the Billboard Women in Music awards in New York City today, where she was honored as Woman of the Year. The legendary performer loves to push the envelope with her style—remember the custom Givenchy number she wore to this year’s Met Gala or her homage to Prince at the Billboard Music Awards in May?—and her new latest look didn’t disappoint. Stylist Arianne Phillips worked with Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele on the highly graphic suit which featured a distinctive flora and fauna motif, and a hidden message. “[The suit was] made more special with embroidery that means ‘the Greek goddess of music that brings joy,’ ” said Phillips.

Raising the bar on her ensemble were equally dazzling jewels: earrings from Sarah Hendler, rings from Jacob & Co., Lynn Ban and Nol Jewellers, bracelets by Eddie Borgo, and a drop necklace from Bulgari. As Phillips put it, they were “perfect for such a momentous honor befitting the Queen of Pop herself.”


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Arianne Phillips opens up about working with Madonna

Arianne Phillips is the Academy Award-nominated costume designer behind Walk the Line and A Single Man. Yet it is the nearly 20 years she has spent working as a stylist to Madonna, spanning countless TV and red carpet appearances and six tours, including the 2016 Rebel Heart Tour, for which the 53-year-old is best known. Phillips, who cites the 1998 “Frozen” video, the 2000 “Don’t Tell Me” video and the 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards as three of her favorite style moments, says that working with Madonna is both rewarding and challenging: ”She’s an artist who’s seen by the world.”

Walk us through the process of putting together Madonna’s tour wardrobe.
Madonna and I usually start talking four to five months before a tour. I work with a big crew — just the prep side alone can reach 25 people — because it’s not just Madonna. There are also 20 dancers, two backup singers, a band and often she has specialty performers. read more →

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Madonna is 4th on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Musicians of 2016 List

#1 Taylor Swift – $170 million
#2 One Direction – $110 million
#3 Adele – $80.5 million
#4 Madonna – $76.5 million

Rebel Heart Tour grossed $140 million, bringing career total on the road to $1.4 billion pretax; made additional millions on perfume and clothing.

Madonna Forbes' List


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A Look at Madonna before the Fame in New Photo Book

In 1983, before she became the cultural icon that she is today, Madonna lived in a walk-up on East 4th Street. In between going out almost every night, she was waitressing and posing nude for art students to pay the bills for her aspiring music career.

Photographer Richard Corman was first introduced to the then 24-year-old through his mother Cis, a casting director at the time for Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ. When Madonna auditioned for the role of Mary Magdalene (unsuccessfully), Cis saw in her an “absolute original.”


These photographs were taken before the release of Madonna’s debut album, just a month before her unprecedented ascension into stardom. Corman captures the raw beauty of a star teeming with potential, on the verge of becoming pop music’s biggest icon, through 66 previously unpublished polaroids that are seeing the light after having been lost for decades. Madonna 66 will be shown as a book, website, film, installation, and social media project—a “360-degree approach to a raw little polaroid,” in the words of the photographer.

Here, Richard Corman reflects on Madonna’s inimitable style, the art of polaroid photography, and the creative, palpable energy of downtown Manhattan in the ’80s.

Describe your first encounter with Madonna.

Richard Corman Madonna made sure I called her prior to entering the building on East 4th Street because the crew on her stoop would not have let me through without her say so. When I approached the building, I told those outside I was a friend of Madonna and the seas parted. I heard M yelling over the banister from the 4th floor to come on up. When I looked up from the first floor and encountered those piercing cat-like eyes I knew that something special awaited on the 4th floor. Indeed as I walked in, she served me espresso on a silver-plated tray with bazooka bubble gum…so raw, so real, so sexy, so much fun. read more →

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Warren Beatty looks back at dating Madonna

“She’s a huge personality, diligent and disciplined and a spectacular dancer and performer,” he says in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “She’s a phenomenon.”

The pair first connected during filming for Beatty’s 1991 comic-book movie, Dick Tracy, in which Madonna was cast as the sultry lounge singer Breathless Mahoney. “She was perfect for that part,” says Beatty, whose latest film, Rules Don’t Apply, hits theaters Nov. 23.

The relationship didn’t last much beyond the premiere of Dick Tracy, and their conflicting views on life in the public eye were evident in her Truth or Dare documentary — a project Beatty, 79, did not want to be a part of at first.

“When we were going [out] and she was making the documentary Truth or Dare, I said, ‘I don’t want to be in it.’ And she said, ‘Why would I want you in it?’” Beatty recalls. But the actor eventually conceded: “I said if I can have approval, I don’t want to inhibit you.”

Madonna with Warren Beatty

In one scene in the documentary, Madonna declines to have a doctor examine her off-camera and Beatty comments that “she doesn’t want to live off-camera, much less talk.” Now, he says he found her decision to include the moment touching.

“I thought that was a kind gesture on her part because that captured how I felt,” he says. “I was kind of touched by that because I felt that I said the right thing.”


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Madonna asks judge if her kids can live in NY co-op without her being there

Madonna has just about anything a Material Girl might need — wealth, fame, looks and a family. But what she wants most right now is a straight answer, her lawyers say.

In an ongoing dispute with an Upper West Side co-op, Madonna is asking a Manhattan judge to give her specific guidance on whether she can allow her kids and maid to live in an apartment that she owns without her having to be there physically.

In a letter filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Madonna’s lawyer Stuart Shaw says the lawyers for the building want to keep his client guessing about their rules so they are using legal “gamemanship” in their court papers by suggesting that the judge can — but doesn’t have to — take a stand on the issue.

The board of One West 64 Street Inc. told Madonna last year that as a result of rule changes adopted in April 2014, she would have to be “in residence” if she wanted her children, family, maid or guests to use the apartment for more than 30 days.

Madonna claims she only learned of the rule change recently.

She bought the apartment in 2008 for $7.3 million.

Madonna wants the court to define what “in residence” means.

“It’s impossible for me to be there at every moment my children or domestic employees are there,” the singer said in an affidavit filed in September. “I’d like to know how I am able to use my apartment without risking an eviction or otherwise incurring the wrath of the co-op board.”

In a letter to Supreme Court Justice Gerald Levovits, Shaw says his adversaries are trying to dissuade the court from making a ruling because, “like the sword of Democles, they used this confusion to be held over (her) head and harass and intimidate her.”

Shaw contends that if uncertainty remains, the co-op board can accuse Madonna of violating the rules and impose sanctions, including eviction.

Board lawyer Patrick Sweeney said in papers last week that the board had adopted a “garden variety” residency requirement and “no reasonable reading” of it could suggest that Madonna “must be physically present at all times such that she would be required to remove guests from her apartment if she went to the market.”

“This is a transparent attempt to interject ambiguity, where none exists, he says.

“Contrary to Defendant’s claim, this is neither histrionics, an absurdity or a canard but rather a real concern to Plaintiff which requires Court intervention,” Shaw said in his letter.

The judge is expected to rule at a later date.

Madonna once owned a larger duplex in the building, which she sold after breaking up with actor Sean Penn.

Madonna's NY apartment

New York Daily News


Seymour Stein on Madonna

Was there a moment where your parents saw that you were successful?

They both lived to see Madonna be №1 on the charts. They were very proud of me.

When you signed Madonna, did you think she’d still be making music 30 years later?

I didn’t think about it. What people usually ask me is, Do you think she’d ever be this big? Of course not! I knew she was special.

And you met her through Mark Kamins?

Yes, I’d always befriended Mark. He was a DJ who played all sorts of weird music but somehow made it work — he was playing Faro music, mixing it with African music and making it all work. I gave him $18,000 and I told him: ‘This should be enough for you, over a period of a year or longer — don’t rush it — to make six demos.’ Madonna was the third demo he brought me. I listened to it, and I loved it.
Everyone knows this story: I heard it in the hospital, and I got so excited, I made her come to see me. No, that’s not true — even then you couldn’t make Madonna do anything unless she wanted to! She came to the hospital and we agreed on a deal right then and there. I asked her to go to her lawyers so we could draw up the papers.

Full interview at

Madonna with Seymour Stein

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