Madonna ducked a legal sanction Thursday for refusing to have her deposition videotaped in her lawsuit over the auction of some of her memorabilia, including a pair of worn satin panties and a love letter from late rapper Tupac Shakur.
The Queen of Pop is suing former pal Darlene Lutz for consigning her “highly personal items” to the online auctioneer Gotta Have It! Collectibles last summer, claiming the ex-friend did not have permission to sell her property.
Madonna’s lawyers barred Lutz’s videographer from attending her deposition in the case in August.
On Thursday, Lutz’s lawyer asked the judge to punish the “Vogue” singer for the move.
“[Madonna’s] credibility was called into question a number of times” during the legal grilling, the lawyer, Judd Grossman, told Judge Gerald Lebovits in Manhattan Supreme Court.
For example, Grossman said, he asked Madonna during the deposition about a pair of panties she’d sent to a former lover over 20 years ago that were yanked from the auction block when she sued Lutz.
“Do you have any good-faith basis to allege that my client, Darlene Lutz, took these underwear from you?” as the singer has alleged, Grossman pressed.
“I do not,” Madonna admitted.
She also conceded that fan-club letters and snapshots from a Miami bachelorette party that are at issue in the suit had previously been published, according to Grossman.
“[Madonna] was visibly uncomfortable during the deposition. There were periods of time when she closed her eyes, struggling to find an answer,” Grossman said.
But her behavior during the questioning is forever lost to history — and to a jury — because the deposition was not recorded, Grossman argued.
So should the case go to trial, the jury won’t be able to fully asses her credibility, he said.
Madonna’s attorney, Brendan O’Rourke, countered that he believed that the judge had told the parties there would be no videotaped depositions.The judge said he couldn’t recall either way.
O’Rourke added that Lutz’s counsel couldn’t point to one specific instance of perjury in Madonna’s testimony.
Judge Lebovits said that recorded depositions are not the norm, before declining to sanction Madonna.
“I would say that they’re exceptionally atypical,” the judge declared.
Lutz is asking the judge to toss the case based on Madonna’s alleged admissions that many of the items are not, in fact, personal.
New York Post