“Papa Don’t Preach,” Madonna’s in (legal) trouble deep.
The “Queen of Pop” was hit with a federal lawsuit from two New York concertgoers Wednesday, alleging the performer’s tardy attendance to her own shows amounts to a slew of crimes, including false advertising and deceptive trade practices.
The class-action complaint, which also names Live Nation and Barclay’s Center as defendants, revolves around Madonna’s Dec. 13 show at the latter and promoted by the former.
Ticket holders Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden, the plaintiffs in the suit, say they were “lulled into” buying tickets for the Celebration Tour stop, which had been postponed from its initial July start date.
But although their tickets and advertisements stated the show was to start at 8:30 p.m., the fans say Madonna didn’t take the stage until between 10:45 to 11 p.m., also alleging the same delay happened at her Dec. 14 and Dec. 16 Barclays Center shows.
The two men claim the defendants’ lack of notice to concertgoers left them waiting, and that many who stayed through the show were met with “limited public transportation, limited ride-sharing, and/or increased public and private transportation costs” once it wrapped after 1 a.m. They also note Madonna’s lack of punctuality particularly inconvenienced fans at the Dec. 13 show because it was a weeknight — a Wednesday — and many had to get up early for work or familial responsibilities.
The suit accuses the “Material Girl” of violating New York state business laws and breaching her contract when she negligently and knowingly misrepresented her shows’ start times — “an unconscionable, unfair, and/or deceptive” trade practice, it states.
“Madonna had demonstrated flippant difficulty in ensuring a timely or complete performance, and Defendants were aware that any statement as to a start time for any show constituted, at best, optimistic speculation,” the lawsuit says.
In truth, Madonna has gotten “Into the Groove” of tardiness in recent years, and this is not the first time fans have expressed themselves about it.
One Florida fan filed a similar lawsuit against her and Live Nation in 2019, alleging breach of contract after the singer’s Madame X Tour date in Miami started two hours later than originally stated. He voluntarily dismissed the suit a month later. A pair of New York fans filed another similar lawsuit regarding that tour and Madonna’s tardiness in February 2020. They reached an unspecified settlement months later, voluntarily dismissing the lawsuit.
Other stops on the Celebration Tour have been known to start late too, with fans taking to social media to share when the star would grace the stage compared to the scheduled time.
Fellows and Hadden mentioned this history of tardiness meant the plaintiffs knew the start time was misrepresented. They’re seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.