Madonna asked a judge Tuesday to block an auction of memorabilia including a breakup letter from rapper Tupac Shakur, saying the intimate items were stolen by her former friend.
The pop superstar filed a motion with a New York court a day before auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll was set to start taking bids for more than 100 items, with Tupac's letter expected to fetch as much as $400,000.
Madonna in a statement to the court called the auction "beyond the bounds of decency" and said she was "shocked" to learn of it through media reports.
"The fact that I have attained celebrity status as a result of success in my career does not obviate my right to maintain my privacy, including with regard to highly personal items," Madonna said in court papers. "I understand that my DNA could be extracted from a piece of my hair. It is outrageous and grossly offensive that my DNA could be auctioned for sale to the general public."
Much of the collection is listed as coming from New York art dealer Darlene Lutz. Madonna told the court that Lutz was formerly a close friend and had access to the personal items when she helped the pop singer pack up a house in Miami.
"It seems obvious that Defendant Lutz betrayed my trust in an outrageous effort to obtain my possessions without my knowledge or consent and now attempts to profit by auctioning off my personal belongings and private communications to the general public," Madonna said.
Tupac, one of the best-selling rappers of all time, dated Madonna in the early 1990s and died of injuries suffered in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting in 1996.
In the 1995 letter, Tupac said that Madonna hurt him through public comments and that his image among fans could deteriorate if it was known he was dating a white star.
Madonna, behind such hit songs as "Like a Virgin" and "Vogue," has sold hundreds of millions of albums. Other Madonna items scheduled to be auctioned were private photographs taken at a bachelorette party at her Miami home, personal letters and cassette tapes of unreleased recordings.
A spokesman for Lutz and the auction house said the allegations will be "vigorously challenged and refuted" in court.
"Madonna and her legal army have taken what we believe to be completely baseless and meritless action to temporarily halt the sale of Ms. Lutz's legal property," spokesman Pete Siegel told the New York Post. "We are confident that the Madonna memorabilia will be back."
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