Madonna’s legal team hit back at class action lawsuit for showing up late on stage

Madonna’s legal team hit back at class action lawsuit for showing up late on stage

Madonna‘s legal team has labelled the class action lawsuit against the singer for showing up late on stage as a “harassment campaign”.

READ MORE: Madonna live in London: pop queen grapples with her legacy

More than one class action lawsuit has been filed over her late starts during her recent ‘Celebration’ 40th anniversary tour. In January, Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden, two fans who bought tickets to the December 13 date of Madonna’s ‘Celebration’ shows at the Barclays Center, filed a lawsuit against Madonna in New York for starting the concert more than two hours past the stipulated 8:30pm start time.

The lawsuit accused her of not only breaching contracts with ticket buyers, but also of “false advertising, negligent representation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices”.

A few months later, Madonna asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit filed against her. Her representatives said: “Plaintiffs speculate that ticketholders who left the venue after 1am might have had trouble getting a ride home or might have needed to wake up early the next day for work. That is not a cognisable injury.”

Per Billboard, the parties attributed the delay to a technical difficulty experienced during the soundcheck for the December 13 date.

Now, Madonna’s lawyers have addressed the claims again and made it clear that they have not agreed to any settlement with the plaintiffs. After they initially responded, the plaintiffs believed this was tantamount to a settlement agreement, leading their lawyer to file a settlement notice.

Madonna’s lawyers have now asked a judge to strike out the settlement notice. While they did acknowledge they had communicated with the plaintiffs’ own lawyers, they argued the notice of settlement was false, characterising it as a “harassment campaign”.

The judge agreed to the request, meaning the case will proceed.

Madonna. Credit: Pablo Porciuncula/Getty

Another suit was filed later that month in Washington D.C. and saw three fans claim that the singer broke the law by arriving on stage two hours late at a pair of gigs at the Capital One Arena in December 2023.

The complaint, which also names entertainment giant Live Nation as a defendant, claims that the delayed starts to the ‘Celebration Tour’ concerts constitute “a wanton exercise in false advertising”.

Lawyers for the fans wrote: “Forcing consumers to wait hours for her performance in a hot, uncomfortable arena is demonstrative of Madonna’s arrogant and total disrespect for her fans.

“In essence, Madonna and Live Nation are a consumer’s worst nightmare.”

They added: “This complaint is not about unhappy fans who don’t want to stay up late, but instead, reasonable, responsible people who had commitments to babysitters, work, getting their vehicles out of parking lots that closed at 12:00 midnight, and realising that public transportation would no longer be operating.”

The suit is a proposed class action that aims to represent all ticketholders who experienced similar problems from the late starts.

According to the suit, the Queen Of Pop told those in attendance: “I am sorry I am late… no, I am not sorry, it’s who I am… I’m always late.”

Madonna. Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty

The star and Live Nation’s lawyers argued that “no reasonable concertgoers – and certainly no Madonna fan – would expect the headline act at a major arena concert to take the stage at the ticketed event time”.

Additionally, they said fans could not take legal action over something they knew about when they purchased their tickets.

Lawyers for the new D.C. case called that argument “absurd”, writing: “In fact, reasonable consumers have seen that concerts featuring Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen, whose tours are also promoted by Live Nation, do start on the time indicated on the ticket and have similar experiences attending Broadway theatre, NFL football and Major League baseball games.”

The suit also claims that the arena was “uncomfortably hot”, and that Madonna herself had insisted on the high temperature. Fans are said to have chanted “A.C” at the star, but she allegedly responded: “Fuck you! I’m cold!… If you’re hot, take your fucking clothes off!”

Madonna is also facing a lawsuit from a a fan, who has claimed that he and others were “forced” to watch sex acts while at her shows.

The lawsuit was filed by a fan named Justen Lipeles in a California court, and alleges that the fans were subjected to “pornography without warning” and “forced to watch topless women on stage simulating sex acts” on stage.

In other news, Cyndi Lauper has spoken about her alleged feud with Madonna.

The ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ singer sat down with The New York Times to discuss her upcoming ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Farewell Tour’, and taken the time to address the alleged feud between her and the ‘Holiday’ singer.

Lauper denounced the claims, saying that both artists were put against each other by the media. She shared that their music stands out for different reasons. “It was like apples and oranges…I would have liked to have a friend,” she told the publication.

The post Madonna’s legal team hit back at class action lawsuit for showing up late on stage appeared first on NME.

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