“I understand that my DNA could be extracted from a piece of my hair,” Madonna added in a statement to the court. “It is outrageous and grossly offensive that my DNA could be auctioned for sale to the general public.”
In a statement, a representative for the auction house and Ms. Lutz called Madonna’s legal action “completely baseless and meritless,” adding: “Madonna’s allegations will be vigorously challenged and refuted in a court of law in due course. We are confident that the Madonna memorabilia will be back listed in a future Gotta Have Rock and Roll online auction once the legal proceeding is concluded.”
In an attempt on Wednesday to vacate the judge’s temporary restraining order against the auction, lawyers for Ms. Lutz argued that the statute of limitations for any alleged theft of the items would have already expired. They added that Madonna had released her claim in this case as part of a settlement in a previous action involving Ms. Lutz.
“This lawsuit is pretext for Madonna’s personal vendetta against Ms. Lutz, whom she already has sued once over a decade ago following a personal falling out,” the lawyers wrote, adding, “If Madonna truly wanted privacy, then mailing her lingerie was not the way to go.”
A representative for Madonna did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
The auction first drew attention — including, apparently, Madonna’s — earlier this month when the Shakur letter was published by TMZ. Previewing for a minimum bid of $100,000, the handwritten missive from the rapper was dated January 15, 1995 at 4:30 a.m., during his incarceration at New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility for sexual assault. (Shakur was shot and killed the next year, at the age of 25.)
In the note, he alluded to his reasons for ending a relationship with Madonna. “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,” Shakur wrote. “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 thought I was.”
“I never meant to hurt you,” he added. “Please understand my previous position as that of a young man with limited experience with an extremely famous sex symbol.”
Another letter in the auction batch — an unsent draft from Madonna to another former boyfriend, the actor John Enos — drew headlines for the singer’s unguarded invocation of her onetime rivals.
“It’s so unequivocally frustrating to read that Whitney Houston has the music career I wish I had and Sharon Stone has the film career I’ll never have,” she wrote. “Not because I want to be these women because I’d rather die but they’re so horribly mediocre and they’re always being held up as paragons of virtue and some sort of measuring stick to humiliate me.”
As of Wednesday at noon, 56 of 128 Madonna items remained up for auction on GottaHaveRockandRoll.com, including a corset, jewelry and worn white pumps.