Several Russian activists have filed a 10-million-dollar lawsuit
against Madonna, claiming they were offended by the pop diva's
support of homosexuals during her recent show, their lawyer said
"On Friday, a 333-million-ruble ($10.3 million) lawsuit was filed
against Madame Louise Veronica Ciccone who calls herself
Madonna," Alexander Pochuyev, a lawyer representing the activists
He also said the suit targeted the organisers of Madonna's show
in Saint Petersburg this month as well as the concert hall.
A spokeswoman for the Moscow District Court in Saint Petersburg
confirmed to AFP the lawsuit had been received, adding the court
would decide by the end of the week whether to accept it.
The nine plaintiffs, including activists from the Trade Union of
Russian Citizens, claim there were offended by Madonna's support
During her show in Russia's former imperial capital the pop icon
stripped to her bra to reveal the words "No Fear!" written on her
back and called on her fans to show "love and appreciation for
the gay community."
Pochuyev also said the plaintiffs accused Madonna of trampling on
a cross during her highly-theatrical performance playing on
Saint Petersburg earlier this year passed a citywide law that
fines those "promoting homosexuality" to minors, even though
homosexuality is not a crime in the country.
Russia legalised homosexuality in 1993 after the fall of the
Soviet Union but only ceased to classify it as a mental disorder
in 1999, and homophobic attitudes still run high in the country.
Gay activists had earlier called on Madonna to cancel her
concerts in Russia as a gesture of support for the gay community.
The US pop diva also angered the Russian authorities with her
support of three members of punk band Pussy Riot, saying during
her Moscow show she was praying for them.
Madonna said the sentencing was "unjust" after a Russian court
handed the three women a two-year prison sentence Friday for
hooliganism over an anti-Vladimir Putin stunt in a Moscow
cathedral in February.
"I urge artists around the world to speak up in protest against
this travesty," she said in a statement on her official website