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Madonna not such a 'lucky star'

Date

Madonna is in trouble again. This time angry Russian activists are suing the songstress for millions of dollars.

Controversial as ever ... Madonna performing in London in July 2012.

Controversial as ever ... Madonna performing in London in July 2012.

No stranger to controversy, Madonna now finds herself on the receiving end of angry Russian anti-gay activists.

The conservative Russians are suing Madonna for millions of dollars, claiming they were offended by her support for gay rights during a recent concert in St Petersburg.

Anti-gay sentiment is strong in Russia, where in St Petersburg a law was passed in February that makes it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors, and the author of that law has pointed to the presence of children as young as 12 at Madonna's concert on August 9.

Russian news agencies quote Alexander Pochuyev, a lawyer representing the nine activists, as saying the suit was filed on Friday against Madonna, the organiser of her concert and the hall where it was held, asking for damages totalling 333 million roubles (about $A10 million).

Responding to criticism that plaintiffs were stuck in the Middle Ages, the lawyer said they were using civilised, modern methods to defend their rights.

"No one is burning anyone at the stake or carrying out an Inquisition," Pochuyev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. "Modern civilisation requires tolerance and respect for different values."

The complaint includes a video taken at the concert showing Madonna stomping on an Orthodox cross and asking fans to raise their hands to show the pink armbands in support of gays and lesbians that were distributed among the audience, the news agency reported.

Madonna has also angered some Russians with her support for Pussy Riot. Three members of the punk band were sentenced on Friday to two years in prison for a protest inside Moscow's main cathedral against Vladimir Putin and his cosy relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Madonna spoke out in support of the group during her concert in St Petersburg and two days earlier in Moscow.

After the verdict was issued, Madonna called on "all those who love freedom to condemn this unjust punishment".

Embattled Wikileaks founder Julian Assange proffered the fate of the punk band as an example of repressed freedom of speech in a rallying delivery from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Sunday.

Madonna has courted controversy for decades, arguably since her incendiary 1985 Virgin tour, focusing on the 'blasphemous' hit, Like a Virgin. Her publication of the book, Sex, and recent use of stunt AK47s in her MDNA tour have not failed to draw criticism.

AP with Fairfax reporter

63 comments so far

  • I think with Madonna's history she can handle this bunch of religious zelots in her sleep. Good on her for speaking her mind and never backing down to these types. Russia clearly needs some more separation of church and state.

    Commenter
    longlivethequeen
    Date and time
    August 20, 2012, 11:37AM
    • Speaking her mind also includes "stomping on a Orthodox Cross" on stage? Okay, so i support the arm bands idea, but then she goes and does that and disrespects me and the other million's of Orthodox followers around the world?

      She ruined a positive message with a vile act, how is that not frowned upon by EVERYONE? So okay lets send the message of "everyone is equal, respect everyone's rights etc etc etc" and then go and offend so many people? She does it not because of the positive message, or trying to help out, but she does it for publicity, just like all the stupid gone toting, she is low.

      Commenter
      Happy the Sweet
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 12:14PM
    • Attention: it's illigal to PROMOTE homosexuality among minors, not to express opinion.

      Commenter
      info
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 1:26PM
    • Why not speaking out mind on the olympic records, or scientific discoveries, or on peace in the world? Why only genitalia related topics? It's sickening already, seriosly..

      Commenter
      info
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 1:30PM
    • I agree with that actually, much as I normally quite dislike Madonna.

      Commenter
      Megan
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 1:38PM
    • I'd like to see the footage of Madonna stomping an Orthodox Cross - if anything she's usually the best promoter for peoples relationship with God, sometimes I think the church should cut her a cheque. Yes she shows a nipple and swears but this woman is one of the best advocators of spirituality. It gets on peoples nerves she makes a lot money and points the finger at those who get in the way of that direct relationship we all have with God or whatever you want to call it.....chances are that if Madonna is in trouble and copping fines she's pushing the right buttons. It really is the 80's all over again.

      Commenter
      OMG
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 2:02PM
    • Happy The Sweet. Where to begin? Perhaps you should realize that whether you are religious or not, a symbol is just a symbol. If you go through life letting any old idiot impact your mood/outlook, then you are surrendering your internal happiness to others. I thought religion was about finding solace within.

      As for Madonna, she is so high on her own importance that she probably thinks her act had some value, or effect. Like Bjork in China with "Free Tibet" would have been better off donating money to a charity or actually going out and speaking to politicians or the people or whatever. The Kabbalah for pete's sake. Are you kidding me....spirituality? Go buy a self help book.

      Commenter
      Liam
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 3:15PM
    • @Liam - very good points raised about not letting any "old idiot impact your mood/outlook" and the irrelevance of Madonna. The fame whore will do anything for attention.

      Commenter
      Happymongrel
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 3:35PM
    • Since when is it illegal to promote homosexuality or heterosexuality for that matter? Opening discussing sexuality is not like touching someone. If talking about good little mummies and daddies makes you feel nice but other people somehow intrude on that or if you're religiously offended you have to get it quickly and join humanity. Russian parents who allow children to attend Madonna in concert should know parental guidance is required to view.

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 3:56PM
    • "Russia clearly needs some more separation of church and state."

      In Soviet Russia, church follow you

      Commenter
      Bender
      Date and time
      August 20, 2012, 4:51PM

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