The Sun Online
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
MADONNA is being plagued by nightmares about horses.
The megastar says her sleep has been haunted by equine night terrors since she was thrown from a horse on her 47th birthday in August.
The sexy singer was left with a broken hand, bust collar bone and three cracked three ribs after the accident and admits the horror fall is still troubling her now.
She told Radio 1: "Ive been having a lot of bad dreams lately about horses and horse riding. Its been a recurring theme".
Madonna revealed she has been horse riding since the accident and would not let the nightmare stop her from getting back in the saddle.
She said: "It was good. I love ripping across the fields really fast."
The Sunday Mail
23 October 2005
MADONNA has lifted the lid on her stormy marriage to movie director Guy Ritchie. The superstar reveals she even considered a divorce in an explosive documentary titled I'm Going To Tell You A Secret.
The 47-year-old admits that for a brief period, she wanted to end her marriage. The singer said: "I got married for all the wrong reasons. My husband did not turn out to be everything I'd imagined him to be. I just wanted to end everything."
Madonna also claims she was once so furious with Guy - who she wed in December 2000 - that she didn't speak to him for 24 hours and cancelled a trip to Ireland with him.
But she decided to stick with the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director - father of her four-year-old son Rocco - as no one is perfect ...
20/10/2005 21:19 / 21/10/2005 17:18
|Pop superstar MADONNA plans to create a
specialised dance routine for the recording of
her new video, to accommodate her recovering
The singer has removed the sling she has been wearing since falling from a horse on her 47th birthday in August, but it is still weak - just weeks ahead of the shoot for the documentary to accompany her new album CONFESSIONS ON A DANCEFLOOR.
She says, "My left arm is flapping around like a chicken wing and I don't have any strength right now.
"I'm doing the video in the next couple of weeks, it's very exciting. I want this to be all about dance.
"I'm going to invent some new dance move that doesn't use the bad bits. I'm still a tough girl."
MADONNA has been ordered to avoid horse-riding while she promotes her upcoming album CONFESSIONS ON A DANCEFLOOR, but the pop superstar is keen to get back in the saddle as soon as possible.
"I wasn't even meant to be riding that horse. It was a gift for my birthday, and somebody said try it. So I did, and I was literally on it for a minute and got thrown off.
"I want to get back on a horse, but my manager has said not to until I've done all the promo stuff for the album."
October 21, 2005
Pop Diva Madonna climbed into the saddle for the first time since being injured in a horse riding accident. The Queen Of Pop suffered three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand in August when she fell off her new horse while celebrating her birthday with her husband, film director Guy Ritchie and her two children, Lourdes and Rocco at her 1,200-acre British country estate.
Before the ride down New York's 53rd Street with US TV host David Letterman , she said she had "excitement tainted with fear," reports BBC. She had not been back on a horse since the accident because "my record company is not very keen on the idea of me injuring myself," she said.
For more than a month after the accident, she was seen in public wearing a sling. Madonna is releasing a single, Hung Up, and a documentary about her 2004 Re-Invention World Tour, I'm Going to Tell You a Secret.
Madonna's latest documentary, 'I'm Going to Tell You a Secret,' is set to air Friday on MTV. And the former shock entertainer and material girl has a warning to all with this basic fundamentalist premise - turn from your wicked ways or you are going to hell.
DRUDGE REPORT - MON OCT 17, 2005 11:04:28
The former Material Girl now believes "the beast is the modern world that we live in!"
"The material world. The physical world. The world of illusion, that we think is real. We live for it, we're enslaved by it. And it will ultimately be our undoing," Madonna explains in her new documentary film, I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A SECRET.
In the movie, which will premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on Tuesday, Madonna warns how people "are going to go to hell, if they don't turn from their wicked behavior."
The singer, who is also promoting the upcoming release of her new music CD, declares: "Most priests are gay."
"I refer to an entity called 'The Beast'. I feel I am describing the world that we live in right now. To me 'The Beast' is the modern world that we live in."
Associated Press/ EiTB24.com
October 9, 2005
JERUSALEM - A song on Madonna's upcoming album dedicated to a Kabbalist rabbi is drawing criticism from other rabbis, the Israeli Maariv daily reported Sunday. The album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor," is to be released on Nov. 15 and features a track entitled "Isaac" about Yitzhak Luria, a 16th century Jewish mystic and Kabbalah scholar.
Word that Madonna's upcoming album includes a paean to a 16th-century Jewish mystic has prompted the rabbis who guard his legacy to accuse the pop idol of sacrilege and hint at divine punishment.
Rabbis who oversee Luria's tomb and a seminary in the northern town of Safed are unimpressed with Madonna's musical tribute and see the inclusion of the song about Luria on the album as an attempt by the pop star to profit from his name. Rabbi Rafael Cohen, head of a seminary named after Luria, suggested Madonna's actions could lead to divine retribution.
"There is a prohibition in Jewish law against using the holy name of our master, the Sage Isaac, for profit," he told the Israeli newspaper Maariv on Sunday. "This is an inappropriate act, and one can feel only pity at the punishment that she will receive from Heaven. The Sage Isaac is holy and pure, and immodest people cannot sing about him," Cohen told the newspaper.
Another rabbi called for Madonna to be thrown out of the community. "Such a woman brings great sin on kabbalah," Rabbi Israel Deri told Maariv. "I hope that we will have the strength to prevent her from bringing sin upon the holiness of the rabbi (Yitzhak Luria)."
The singer and actress was raised a Roman Catholic but has become a follower of Kabbalah in recent years and adopted the Hebrew name Esther. She made a much publicized visit to Israel in 2004, when she visited many sites important to Kabbalah, but didn't travel to Luria's grave.
Deemed especially provocative was Madonna's music video for "Die Another Day", in which she wove phylacteries around her arm, a custom usually reserved for Jewish men, before escaping from an electric chair on which Hebrew letters spelling out one of the 72 names of God appeared.
21/09/2005 - 19:35:44
British film-maker Guy Ritchie knew his wife Madonna would survive the horrific injuries she sustained in a horse-riding accident on her 47th birthday last month, because she is too tough to die.
The Like A Virgin singer suffered a multitude of broken bones - including a broken little finger, five cracked ribs and a double fracture to one of her shoulder blades - in the fall at her English country estate.
And when Ritchie arrived at the accident scene he was shocked by how pale his wife was.
Ritchie says: "I was about five minutes away when it happened. I was worried as she was as white as a sheet.
"But I wasn't thinking she would die - I thought she was too tough for that."
But the 37-year-old was not surprised when she refused to follow doctors orders by carrying on working despite being told to rest for two months.
He continues: "Once you know eight bones are broken, you know there's a legacy of pain to pay for the next two months.
"And those bones can't be set, so you just have to sit there for the next six to eight weeks. But there wasn't a lot of taking it easy - she was up and running in no time."
By Richard Smith
and Pete Samson
18 August 2005
FRIENDS thought the worst after Madonna fell from her horse on to ground "as hard as concrete", it was revealed yesterday. They were "afraid" as they raced to her aid as she lay motionless on her £9million country estate.
A source told how she was briefly knocked out by the shuddering impact - and that the novice rider had been on a fast thoroughbred horse. The star came round after a few seconds and wept in agony from a broken collar bone, three smashed ribs and a fractured hand.
Yesterday she was flown to London aboard a helicopter which had landed at the Ashcombe House estate, near Tollard Royal, Wilts, at 10am. She was later thought to be under private medical care in the capital.
The riding outing was a 47th birthday present from husband Guy Ritchie, who is "absolutely mortified".
Yesterday the source gave the Mirror a detailed account of the accident on Tuesday that could have brought tragic consequences. "When Madonna hit the ground, her friends were there like lightning," said the insider. "She lay unconscious on the floor for a few seconds and everyone was afraid."
The source added: "If the horse had landed on top of Madonna or trodden on her, it could have been an awful lot worse. Although she's in excruciating pain, she did get off quite lightly."
Film director Ritchie, 36, had invited some friends to bring horses for Madonna, including a chestnut-red, 16-hand bay thoroughbred which she eventually rode.
The insider said: "They brought four horses down in a horse box. Guy's idea was that they could all go for a ride on the estate as part of her birthday celebrations. Unfortunately, they didn't realise Madonna was such an inexperienced rider, and brought a horse that was too advanced for her. She was over-horsed - and basically fell off because she was going too fast. The horse went faster than Madonna expected and she simply lost her balance and fell on some very hard ground in a field - we've had hardly any rain and it was like concrete. I don't think her riding friends even knew what had happened until they saw Madonna on the ground ...
The source told of her husband's anguish. "Guy has been giving Madonna lots of TLC - those two are very close to each other. It was a lovely treat which sadly went all wrong." The singer will now probably miss another horsey outing at the nearby Starrock Stud ...
"She's going to be in a lot of pain, poor girl. Every time she laughs or coughs, she will be in agony. The shock will set in and that will make her feel even more terrible. But I've already offered to give her some lessons on a quiet horse when she's well enough, so she can regain her confidence ..."
Julie Aylen, who runs the Tollard Park Livery and Teaching Centre near the Wiltshire estate, said: "Madonna's injuries would indicate that she was thrown off the horse and possibly had her hands trampled on. I am surprised that she chose to ride a thoroughbred, considering she is only a novice. You would expect her to have gone for a cross-breed horse."
Tuesday, August 16, 2005 Posted: 1747 GMT (0147 HKT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Madonna's 47th birthday celebration was marred when she suffered several broken bones in a horse riding accident at her country home outside London, her publicist told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
|The superstar was hospitalized with three
cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a
broken hand, according to Liz Rosenberg, her spokeswoman
based in New York. The accident occurred Tuesday at
Ashcombe house, her estate outside of London.
Madonna and an assistant were riding horses, when Madonna, on a new horse she wasn't accustomed to riding, took a tumble. Her children, Rocco and Lourdes, were at the home but were not with their mother at the time, Rosenberg said. "The whole family was out in the country, celebrating her birthday," Rosenberg said.
Her husband, director Guy Ritchie, took Madonna to an undisclosed hospital, where she was treated. Rosenberg said the entertainer was expected to be released later in the evening.
17 August 2005
By Fiona Cummins
|MADONNA wept with pain yesterday after a
terrifying riding accident left her with three cracked
ribs, a fractured collar bone and broken
hand. An onlooker said: "She was clearly in agony
and was in floods of tears." The singer - a rookie
rider - came a cropper as she celebrated her 47th
She and an assistant had gone for an afternoon gallop in the 1,200-acre grounds of her £9million country estate at Wiltshire. Madonna is believed to have been on a horse she had not ridden before - and was suddenly sent crashing to the ground.
Anxious husband Guy Ritchie, 36, was at her side within minutes and immediately whisked her off to hospital.
Their two children Rocco, five, and Lourdes, eight, were also at the Ashcombe House estate but did not witness their mum's horrific fall. The family had all gathered in the country specially for Madonna's birthday.
An insider said: "It was supposed to be a lovely occasion but it all went horribly wrong. Guy was beside himself when he heard that she had fallen off. She could have been paralysed or worse. It cast a huge shadow over the whole day. It was a shock to everyone but thankfully she is now recovering."
Madonna spent several hours in Salisbury district hospital as doctors assessed her injuries. She was expected to be released late last night.
A spokesman confirmed the she was being treated at the hospital but refused to give details of her treatment. Duty manager Colette Martindale said: "The person in question has released a statement and the trust has no further comment to make."
Last night Madonna's next door neighbour said a pheasant could have spooked her horse and caused the fall. Una Harley, who owns a stud farm, said: "Madonna breeds pheasants and partridges on her estate and it's possible a pheasant flew up suddenly and made the horse shy. "She will be in an awful lot of pain and will be very shocked - but I'm sure she'll cope. Madonna is a tough cookie. She is one very strong lady - really. "I feel terribly sorry for her but Madonna is a very determined lady and if she decides to do something she will always succeed and be very good at it. She loves animals."
Only last month the Queen of Pop posed for a series of pictures portraying her new image as lady of the manor. One showed her wearing a demure 50s-style dress as she tends chickens on the lawn of her mansion. She was also seen snuggling up to husband Guy Ritchie as she sat astride a horse ...
The singer's New York publicist Liz Rosenberg conformed: "She was riding a new horse - not the one she regularly has. "Hopefully she won't be kept in hospital overnight but she did suffer a few nasty breaks so she's pretty banged up and it will take a bit of time to get over."
She is expected to spend the next few weeks recuperating at Ashcombe House - where she will be attended by her personal physician.
COMMENTS (8/16/05): This is incredibly bizarre. I've been predicting danger for Madonna for some time now, focusing first on the year 2002 then on the current 2004-2005 period, but to think this would happen on the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death and the pop diva's own birthday!
It makes sense. As I mention in my remarks about Elvis, Madonna has the unusual distinction of being comparable to a famous blonde female celebrity like Marilyn Monroe or Diana, as well as the dancer Isadora Duncan (all three influences from August/September 2004). However, she also has much in common with Elvis Presley -- a rock legend and an actor. Thus, I have had a sneaky feeling that she escaped whatever was awaiting her last year only to face it this year instead.
The trend logic of base 7 is that some unfulfilled events from 2004 can still wield influence the following year (2005) while the 2005 influences are also at work. But only during the following year. 2004 cannot, for example, influence events in 2006, 2007, 2008, etc. I cite the suspicious "suicide" of actress Thelma Todd as an example of how what was "trended" to happen in summer 1934 instead occurred in 1935. And late 1935, at that.
That was 70 years ago and it appears the same thing may happen again.
The key words here are "broken collar bone" and "could have been paralysed or worse." Madonna could have ended up like Christopher Reeve. Indeed, in one news report, there has already been linkage between both accidents. Worse, she could have broken her neck and died (the significance of "collar bone").
That is exactly what happened to Isadora Duncan in September 1927 ... who was also a professional dancer like Madonna.
Also, the proximity of the collar bone to the neck is key when considering Quatrain 1.39 (see 2004 (Part Two)).
So, what does this all mean?
Was this episode yet another "close call" ... a much more injurious close call than last year's threats from terrorists, a bomb exploding in a taxi outside her NYC home, or Madonna's collapsing from exhaustion on stage twice before horrified fans?
Then again, it may be an omen ... a warning. December 2005 is actually the deadliest month if the Thelma Todd influence reigns. Thelma Todd was a brash, bold and bubbly blonde. She hanged out at clubs and with underworld figures. In some respects, she was reminiscent of Isadora Duncan who was also aggressive and assertive. Both took many risks in their personal lives ... and that proved to be their undoing in the end.
Also, October 2005 nears. The 35th anniversary of rock singer Janis Joplin in October 1970.
Not a good time to be a famous, blonde female rock star and an actress ... who happens to also be a dancer!
07 August 2005
UK magazine star (08 August issue) features the Madonna and Guy 'argument' pictures that appeared in the German press last week. The pictures were taken recently outside the Los Angeles Kabbalah Centre.
05 August 2005
The latest issue of German magazine Neue Revue (04 August issue) features a two page spread of pictures taken of Madonna and Guy 'arguing' as they left the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles recently.
UPDATE (8/15/05): Any breakup of Madonna's marriage to Guy Ritchie could set her up for a later Thelma Todd scenario which still looms in December 2005, if not before.
What is disturbing is that Madonna's devotion, both timewise and financially, to Kabbalah appears to be straining her marriage to director Guy Ritchie. If the two are teetering at the precipice of divorce, Madonna would be similar to Thelma Todd who divorced her husband not long before her strange death. Should Madonna then enter into a relationship with the wrong person like Todd, or simply fall victim to a terrorist, a stalker, or even a crazy or angry Kabbalah cult member, she could be strangled as indicated in Quatrain 1.39 and then hanged to make it appear as though it was a suicide.
Thelma Todd's marriage in 1932 to playboy Pasquale "Pat" DiCicco quickly degenerated into a series of drunken brawls, one of which resulted in her having an emergency appendectomy. She became romatically involved with underworld figure Charles "Lucky" Luciano who got her addicted to amphetamines. Some theories hold that after telling Luciano off at a party, "Lucky" had her death "arranged" later that same night.
04.22.2005 8:31 AM EDT
A British film director and several British production companies claim they are owed more than $300,000 for their work on a Madonna concert special, and now they're reportedly taking the iconic pop star to court to collect.
In a suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, three plaintiffs seek payment for directing and production fees accrued during the pre-production and production phases of a television special documenting the Material Girl's 2004 Re-Invention World Tour, according to The Associated Press.
Director Hamish Hamilton who worked on the "Madonna Live: Drowned World Tour 2001" DVD and production firm the Rude Corporation allege that the singer has refused to pay them $175,000 in outstanding directing and production fees.
The final project aired on European television, and included concert footage from Madonna's shows in New York, Florida, Nevada, California, France and England.
In addition, Done and Dusted, Ltd., another British production house, claims it is owed $155,000 in related expenses racked up while working on the two-hour special.
All three plaintiffs claim Madonna commissioned the work and has acknowledged the fact that she owes them the money. "Madonna refuses to pay Mr. Hamilton his $175,000 director's fee and refuses to reimburse Done and Dusted, Ltd. $175,000 for expenses incurred," the suit reads. "Defendants have failed and refuse, and continue to fail and refuse to pay ... the fee owed."
The singer's camp had no comment on the lawsuit.
4/21/2005 2:41 PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) A British director and several British companies involved in the creation of Madonna's European TV concert special have sued the singer, alleging she still owes more than $300,000 in directing and production fees.
The suit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Madonna owes director Hamish Hamilton and The Rude Corp. $175,000 for work on a TV special of the singer's 2004 European Reinvention Tour.
Hamilton alleges in the suit that he traveled to shows in New York, Florida, California, Nevada, France and England as part of his contract and scouted locations in Portugal for the TV special.
The suit also alleges that Madonna owes Done and Dusted, Ltd., more than $155,000 for expenses incurred during pre-production and production work on the program.
Madonna's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday.
Indo-Asian News Service
New York, April 2, 2005|17:22 IST
A talk-radio host in his book has accused Madonna, who has adopted the Jewish mysticism Kabbalah, of being responsible for the spiritual weakening of the US.
In his Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder, Michael Savage was quoted by the New York Post as holding the pop diva responsible for spreading a "godless worldview".
"Here's a woman who made a career as a pseudo-pornographic belly dancer cavorting with a whip, and now suddenly, after having a baby, she pretends to be a holy woman riding her bicycle in England on her country estate with her buddy, Gwyneth Paltrow," the ultra conservative talk-radio host said.
"They both fled America because America wasn't clean enough for their offspring. In Madonna's view, we're a spiritually bankrupt nation - which she helped create. What could Madonna know about the sacred arm of Judaism? Answer: Nothing!"
March 30, 2005, 12:13:28
Madonna should be "beaten" for dressing as a nun at a fancy dress party, a leading US Catholic has claimed. The stunning singer, a former Catholic before she converted to Kabbalah, was spotted last Thursday (24.03.05) dressed as a holy sister with husband Guy Ritchie, who was sporting a priest outfit. The couple were going to a party to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim at London's Kabbalah Centre.
But the stunt has provoked outrage from William Donahue, president of the American Catholic League, who claims the two stars should be beaten by a real life priest and nun for desecrating the scared attire just three days before Easter Sunday, the faith's most revered holiday. He is quoted by E Online as saying "They're trying to tweak Catholicism again by exploiting the Jewish holiday. "She needs to be beaten with a ruler by a real-life nun and he needs to paddled on his behind by a real-life priest."
In a further tirade against the couple, Donahue described the 46-year-old singer as a "buffoon" and admitted he was astonished the pair would choose to wear such inappropriate costumes while Pope John Paul II, the head of the Catholic Church, was in such ill health.
He added: "Madonna's such a buffoon that we come to expect it, but Ritchie is morally depraved and a jackass. It's particularly vulgar to dress up like that at a time when the pope is failing at his health."
However, the 46-year-old star's representative, Liz Rosenberg, has played down the incident insisting Madonna or her husband meant to disrespect Catholics. She said: "No disrespect was intended. Madonna dreamed of becoming a nun when she was a little girl."
[Entertainment News] New York, Mar.30: Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie have enraged the Catholics by dressing up like a nun and the ailing Pope.
The couple who donned ecclesiastical costumes at a London party celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim were instantly condemned to languish in the outer circle of hell by the Catholic League President William Donahue. It just goes to show you what a moral slug this man [Ritchie] is that he would get dressed up as the Pope at a time like this, New York Daily News quoted Donahue as saying.
While, Madonnas rep Liz Rosenberg insisted that those costumes are worn as a traditional Purim rite. No disrespect was intended. Madonna dreamed of becoming a nun when she was a little girl. She said, Finally, Ill make my father proud!, the report quoted her as saying.
Madonna had hit off similar scandals way back in 1989 when she wore a wimple and a crucifix for her Like a Prayer video and later when she embraced Kaballah.
Were quite disappointed after learning that shed returned to the fold, so to speak. We Catholics thought we had finally gotten rid of the witch when she discovered kabbala. In the event she discovers the Wiccan religion, the Catholic League would be happy to donate a proper [witch] costume to her. And we would be ever so happy to send her husband a broom complete with instructions for what to with it, the report quoted an enraged Donahue as saying. (ANI)
By Gemma Calvert
News Of The World
Sunday 27th March 2005
SHE may be devoted to the mystical Jewish faith Kabbalah, but Madonna just can't shake the, er, habit of dressing as a nun.
The singer shocked the pop world in 1989 when she donned a wimple and crucifix for her controversial Like A Prayer video.
On Thursday she was back in her nun outfit again for a fancy dress party in London to celebrate the Jewish Purim festival.
Hubby Guy Ritchie raised a few eyebrows by going as the Pope, considering the fragile state of the Catholic leader's health.
But one party-goer said: "Everyone had a great time. There was lots of drinking and fun had by all, including Madonna and Guy."
As devotees of a strict religious order themselves, if any offence was taken...we're sure there was nun intended.
The next day Madonna, 46, was all curves outside studios in west London. A bystander said: "Her cleavage was something else."
Thu, Mar 10, 2005, 02:03 PM PT
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Madonna, who's made a career of exploiting her sexuality, has been named as a defendant in a sexual harassment suit.
Yael Oestreich, a former vice president of development at Madonna's Maverick Films, has sued the company's executives over sexual harassment and wrongful termination, reports the AP.
The woman claims Maverick CEO Mark Morgan had promised her a raise, but instead fired her in July without cause. Earlier in November 2003, Morgan allegedly called her "uptight" for not participating in talks about sex and accused her of sleeping with three agents at her previous job at United Talent Agency.
"Inappropriate sexual inquiries" continued in the months following, and when she reported the alleged harassment, she was accused of being insecure.
The suit alleges that Maverick's co-founder Guy Oseary and Madonna "failed to conduct a reasonable investigation into defendant Morgan's background before hiring him and knew or should have known of his propensity for sexual harassment and discrimination."
Oestreich is seeking general damages, medical expenses, loss of earnings and punitive and exemplary damages. Madonna's Maverick Films has produced the "Agent Cody Banks" movies.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
LOS ANGELES A former female employee of Madonna's film company is suing the pop star and other executives of Maverick Films on claims she was sexually harassed and wrongfully terminated.
Yael Oestreich said in the Superior Court suit filed Wednesday that she was never given a promised salary increase by chief executive officer Mark Morgan and that he fired her in July without cause.
The suit said Maverick Films co-founder Guy Oseary and Madonna, both listed as defendants, "failed to conduct a reasonable investigation into defendant Morgan's background before hiring him and knew or should have known of his propensity for sexual harassment and discrimination."
Phone calls for Morgan, Oseary and a Madonna publicist seeking comment were not immediately returned early Thursday.
Oestreich, a former vice president of development at Maverick, said she was criticized by Morgan at a Nov. 11, 2003 social outing as being "uptight" for not joining in talks about sex. He also accused her of sleeping with three agents from United Talent Agency, her former employer, the suit said.
In the months that followed, the suit said, Oestreich was the target of "inappropriate sexual inquiries" and also accused of being insecure when she told managers of the alleged harassment. The suit seeks general damages, medical expenses, loss of earnings and punitive and exemplary damages.
BY ANTHONY M. DESTEFANO
March 7, 2005, 7:23 PM EST
Former Madonna pal Chris Paciello recounted Monday how his career as a Miami Beach impresario got a start with money from bank heists and help from friends in the Gambino crime family.
Testifying in federal court in Brooklyn, Paciello, whose legal name is Christian Ludwigsen, said he used his share of a $1-million rip-off of a Brooklyn bank in 1994 to finance his foray into the South Beach club world.
Paciello, 33, sporting his trademark close-cropped haircut that made him a sex symbol in his Florida heyday, said his take from the heist amounted to about $250,000.
Paciello, who is serving a 7-year sentence in federal prison for a series of crimes, including one that led to the death in 1993 of Judith Shemtov in a Staten Island home-invasion robbery, is testifying as a government witness against Edmund Boyle, a pizzeria worker from Brooklyn. Boyle is charged with taking part in the 1994 robbery of the National Westminster Bank on Fifth Avenue.
Paciello testified that after transplanting to Miami following a life of car thefts and bank rip-offs in the Northeast, he had the help of reputed Gambino crime family member Johnny Rizzo in starting his first nightclub, Risk, in November 1994.
Under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Seigel, Paciello said Risk burned down a year after opening, but he denied the fire had been set. After losing Risk, Paciello said he immediately started his second club, Liquid, but added that he didn't resort to mob money.
Paciello said he started two other popular South Beach night spots, the restaurant Joia and the club Bar Room, all of which he said were moneymakers.
Although he wasn't questioned in detail about his night life by Seigel, Paciello struck up a business relationship with Ingrid Casares, a former girlfriend of Madonna. It was Casares who got involved in Paciello's businesses after Risk closed, and she is credited with creating the look and decor he used. His establishments attracted celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan and Madonna.
In return for his pleading guilty to a series of federal charges in late 2000, federal prosecutors backed Paciello in his successful bid last year to get his sentence reduced from 10 to 7 years.
from Jeannette Walls Delivers The Scoop, MSNBC Gossip
February 1, 2005
Is Madonnas pal Ingrid Casares the latest celeb to join Kabbalah? The promoter is hosting a party for "The Red String Book" by Kabbalah Centre honcho Yehuda Berg on February 9 at Miami Beachs China Grill.
30 October 2002
From OK! magazine
Madonna will soon be returning to cinema screens soon - only this time someone else will be playing her in the story of Liquid, the Miami nightclub.
The club was run by acquaintances of Madonna - Ingrid Casares and Chris Paciello - and that's where it gets embarassing. Paciello turned out to have had ties with the Mafia, and was implicated in the murder of a woman while he and his friends robbed her home.
He moved to Miami, reinvented himself and helped launch Liquid. Eventually he was discovered and, rather than go to prison, he volunteered to give evidence against the Mafia.
He's now sold to rights to his life story, as has Casares, and the script is being written. But just who will play Madonna?
Tuesday, 22 February , 2005, 14:03
New York: `Material Girl` Madonna has been promoted to the highest level that can be achieved without being ordained, at the Kabbalah Church.
According to Ratethemusic.com, the singer, who is a staunch follower of the mystical Jewish religion, was promoted to an upper category of Kabbalah followers in a ceremony conducted by the Kabbalah Centre founder Rabbi Berg.
"Her teachers think she has reached the pinnacle of spiritual understanding. To Madonna this is the best achievement of her life," a source said.
It was under Madge's influence that celebrities like Demi Moore and Britney Spears became attracted towards Kabbalah. ANI
By John Sweeney And Alexa
Baracaia, Evening Standard
This is London
13 January 2005
New details about life inside the sect favoured by Madonna and Guy Ritchie are revealed today. An undercover investigation into the controversial Kabbalah Centre movement found a series of questionable claims by its leaders.
A documentary, to be screened on BBC2 tonight said: "Healing" spring water sold to followers for nearly £4 a bottle comes from a Canadian bottling plant. One cancer sufferer was told Kabbalah water would help to cure his disease and was advised to buy a batch worth ?550.
Cash raised by donors for the Asian tsunami victims is being spent on distributing Kabbalah Centre products in the devastated region.
A leading figure at the centre believes Jews killed in the Holocaust brought their downfall on themselves.
The Kabbalah Centre claims to be a not-for-profit organisation but its leaders are said to live millionaire lifestyles. There have been claims of a visit to a gambling venue and expensive plastic surgery.
Three people from BBC2's Sweeney Investigates infiltrated the Kabbalah Centre, which has 40 sites around the world. The programme team interviewed senior figures in the Jewish community who denounced the Centre as a "nefarious bunch of charlatans". The centre promotes a mixture of ancient Jewish mysticism and pseudoscience and is led by former New York rabbi and insurance salesman Philip Berg.
Pictures seen here for the first time show film director Guy Ritchie at a recent Kabbalah New Year event - known as Rosh Hashanah. Ritchie and his wife Madonna are the most high-profile followers of the Kabbalah Centre. Other celebrity followers include Demi Moore, Roseanne Barr and Melinda Messenger.
Ritchie is pictured at the five-day event in Tel Aviv being given the "birthday bumps" by dozens of fellow Kabbalists, all identically clothed in white. While the majority are seen wearing the traditional Jewish " kippot" - or skullcap - Ritchie is pictured instead in a white cloth cap. The 2,600 followers present at the celebration also took part in a bizarre ceremony during which they chanted the name "Chernobyl" repeatedly at a TV image of a giant rotating atom in a bid to "reduce radioactivity" at the site of the Soviet nuclear disaster.
Ritchie and Madonna both regularly attend London's Kabbalah Centre at Stratford Place, near Bond Street. There, one senior figure said Madonna had joined because "she wants to understand how she works with her kids better. She wants to understand how to control her mood better, how to be more happy. How to be more tolerant with her husband and to maintain the relationship".
But the ?3.65 million centre is under investigation by Westminster council after the BBC documentary found evidence of devotees sleeping in windowless "cells" in a basement.
The documentary also reveals the centre is launching a million-dollar appeal for victims of the Asia tsunami. But it is spending the money on its own products - such as "healing" water at up to ?2.80 a litre, and copies of the sect's own "holy text", the Zohar, costing ?289 for a 23-volume set. Pictures on the Kabbalah Centre website show "grateful" victims of the south-east Asian floods holding copies of the books in hospital.
The alleged "healing" water is also found by the documentary to be bottled at a Canadian plant that has in the past been rapped for failing to carry out proper health and safety tests. The Kabbalah Centre insists that its water is sourced from springs and treated by an exclusive Kabbalistic process, using blessings and meditations.
However, the water actually comes from Ontario bottling plant CJC Bottling. In 2002 the authorities issued an order against CJC because it had not tested its water properly. Despite this, Kabbalah leaders make lofty claims about the powers of the water - including that it is a useful aid in the treatment of cancer.
Essex businessman Tony Donnelly, who has been treated by London's Royal Marsden Hospital for cancer, was sent undercover to the Kabbalah Centre in London. He was prescribed three bottles of water per day and offered a total Kabbalah water package worth ?550, for which he paid in cash.
One member of the centre said there were no miracle cures. But asked whether the water would help his cancer, a Kabbalah Centre worker said: "It's a very good possibility. We have one girl here, who works here, her mother used to have cancer and she doesn't have it any more. The water is very, very good because it affects the cells, it cleanses the cells."
Rabbi Barry Marcus, of London's Central Synagogue, said: "This is absolutely disgusting and yet another cheap shot by a sect hell-bent on making money. We in the Jewish community dissociate ourselves from this appeal in the strongest possible way."
The rabbi called on famous devotees to reconsider their attachment to the sect. "These celebrities appear to be oblivious to the true nature of the Kabbalah Centre," he said. "There are many organisations that people can send their money to to help the victims of the tsunami but not the Kabbalah Centre. The celebrities must reconsider their involvement with this nefarious bunch of charlatans."
Many ex-members of the Kabbalah Centre now claim the organisation is little more than a brainwashing "cult". Debbie Chaski-Leventhal, who spent 13 years at the heart of the Kabbalah Centre movement, said: "It's a cult, absolutely it's a cult, especially for the few hundred people who are very close to the Bergs. Most of these people will do almost absolutely anything he will tell them to do, and if he will tell them tomorrow to all commit suicide together they will."
Other claims include the assertion by a senior figure in the London Kabbalah Centre, Eliyahu Yardeni, that the Holocaust was the fault of the six million Jewish victims. "The Light was blocked. They didn't use Kabbalah," he claimed.
Red string bracelets that mark out Kabbalists - and have been seen on the wrists of celebrities including David Beckham - cost £18.50 from the Kabbalah Centre. However, they can be obtained free when followers visit Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. A red-string gift package has reportedly been seen bearing the sticker "Made in China".
Meanwhile, despite assertions that the Kabbalah Centre is a not-for-profit organisation, former associates of Berg claim that he and his family live in luxury. One ex-Kabbalist said Berg and his second wife, Karen, had taken a Cadillac to visit a casino in Atlantic City, and that Mrs Berg had undergone a facelift.
A statement issued by the Kabbalah Centre to the BBC said: "For millennia, Kabbalah has been misrepresented by some members of the community trying to discourage others from studying its wisdom. The Kabbalah Centre welcomes people of all spiritual, religious and national backgrounds. "As a registered charity, the centre has to fund-raise to cover its administrative costs and outreach work, the effects of which are felt across the world on a daily basis, not least in Asia currently."
Drowned Madonna News (From the German Gala magazine)
December 9, 2004
A crazy fan is following MADONNA since May and his stalking is increasing everyday more: Now he is even following her daughter Lourdes to a playground. Her Nanny saw a suspicious man there! The stalker is sending lots of letters to MADONNA and even her private email address was used. Guy and MADONNA asked Scotland Yard for help, but as long as he doesn't attack the star, they can't do anything. "MADONNA is very worried" says a bodyguard. "She's living in fear to get shot by a crazy fan like John Lennon". The stalker followed her on each concert of her "Re-Invention" world tour and waited at the stage doors. Back in 1995 MADONNA had already a stalker problem. Robert Dewey Hoskins threatened to kill her and was sentenced 10 years in prison. In these days his request for amnesty is being discussed. Not a calming thought for MADONNA!
On a side note they mention that MADONNA got 10 million dollars for the Versace campaign, but this doesn't bring her happiness because she's living in fear and almost doesn't dare to leave her home!
Fri, Dec 3, 2004
According to reports, pop queen Madonna is scared rigid that she'll be popped off by a crazed stalker just like the great John Lennon.
Apparently Madge has been terrorised by a wealthy American man ever since the start of her Re-Invention world tour in May.
At first, the singer dismissed the 'evil' letters she was receiving, but then they started to be hand-delivered to her HOME.
By all accounts, the loon allegedly begs to have sex with her and makes several pervy demands.
Not only that, but the man has also managed to get hold of her personal email address and has bombarded her inbox. And he's knocked on the door of her and hubby Guy Ritchie's Wiltshire home, only to be sent away by security.
But enough is enough, and the private star is now reportedly involving police because the man is alleged to have been involved in an incident where her daughter Lourdes and her nanny were followed in a park in New York.
Looks like Guy had better get on the blower to Vinnie Jones and send the heavies round.
Madonna fears that she will be shot by an obsessive stalker. The Material Girl has reportedly been followed by a middle-aged American man since the start of her Reinvention tour in May, IMDb.com says.
The man has allegedly sent nasty notes to the star, in which he makes sexual demands.
A source close to Madonna told British newspaper The Sun, Madonna is very scared about this man she has become paranoid. She thinks hes so unstable; she could be murdered like John Lennon.
This character is the worst stalker Madonna has ever encountered. It has reached a level where police will have to be involved - she is taking the threat very seriously indeed.
Madonna had another security scare earlier this year - she was forced to axe three concerts in Israel after terrorists threatened to kill her.
by Lowri Williams - Gigwise
Queen of Pop Madonna is in fear for her life after a stalker has sent her threatening letters.
Madge is scared of being shot like John Lennon was by crazed fan Mark Chapman.
The man in question, a wealthy middle-aged American, went to see her at every single date of her Re-Invention world tour earlier this year.
The stalker has somehow managed to obtain the singer's personal email address and has been sending her messages that insiders have deemed absolutely horrible reports the Sun.
The stalker has also been hand delivering letters to her home in which he makes a series of perverted sexual demands.
The stalker has even managed to knock on the door of Madonna's London home but did'nt get past her minders.
The same man is thought to be behind an incident in New York when Madonnas daughter Lourdes and her nanny were followed by a man in a park.
A source has told the Sun: Madonna is very scared about this man - she has become paranoid. She thinks he is so unstable she could be murdered like John Lennon.
This stalker is the worst that Madonna has ever encountered. It has reached a level where the police will have to be involved she is taking the threat very seriously indeed.
Earlier this year Madonna was forced to cancel three concerts in Israel after terrorists threatened to kill her.
09:41 UK, Thursday December 02, 2004
Madonna has revealed she's terrified of being shot dead by a crazed stalker. The Queen of Pop has recently been targeted by a wealthy American man whose been plaguing her every move.
Earlier this year, the star had to cancel three gigs in Israel after terrorists threatened to kill her.
Madonna has reportedly become extrememly paranoid and is afraid she may be murdered like John Lennon. The Beatle was shot dead in December 1980 in New York by obsessive fan Mark Chapman.
A source told the Sun, Madge's latest stalker is becoming increasingly bold in his tactics to meet the Material Girl. He has acquired her personal e-mail address, attended every gig of her Re-Invention tour and knocked on the door of the London home she shares with hubby Guy Ritchie and children Rocco and Lourdes.
"He is the worst stalker Madonna has ever encountered. It has reached a level where the police will have to be involved," the source said.
London, Dec 2
Pop diva Madonna is terrified of being shot by a crazed stalker just like Beatles legend John Lennon, reports the Sun.
The 'Material Girl' is being hounded by a wealthy middle-aged man, who has been keeping track of all her activities, since the start of her Re-Invention world tour in May.
Madge's stalker has been apparently plaguing her with threatening letters that are hand delivered to her house, confirming her fears that she will meet the same fate as Lennon. (ANI)
October 25, 2004, 10:11:36
DEMI MOORE and ASHTON KUTCHER are set to strip off and pose in nothing but string for a new Kabbalah advertising campaign. The Hollywood couple, longtime devotees of the mystical offshoot of Judaism, will be wearing outfits made of Kabbalah's signature red string for the photographs.
Award-winning celebrity photographer JULIE DENNIS BROTHERS, who will be taking the snapshots, says, "It's not so much what I would like Demi or Ashton to wear because it would definitely be something, again, using the red string."
The Beverly Hills Kabbalah Centre hopes to nab MADONNA - who's responsible for the high celebrity interest in the faith - for a naked shot.
They already got MARLA MAPLES to go nude.
Thursday, September 16, 2004 Posted: 2009 GMT (0409 HKT)
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) -- Israel was abuzz with excitement Wednesday over the arrival of Madonna, its biggest celebrity visitor in years. The pop star came to the Holy Land on a spiritual quest, including visits to the graves of revered rabbinical sages. Yet some were perplexed by the raunchy diva's interest in the esoteric Jewish mysticism called cabala or Kabbalah, and rabbis said she had no business studying holy texts.
Raised a Roman Catholic, Madonna has adopted the Hebrew name Esther, wears a red thread on her wrist to ward off the evil eye and reportedly refuses to perform on the Jewish Sabbath. She also has incorporated Jewish symbols into some of her music videos, much to the consternation of religious leaders.
The organization hosting her in Israel ordered news reporters to wear white clothes and not to take notes when covering Madonna's appearances during the New Year's holiday, or Rosh Hashanah. "This is entertainment, not Judaism," said Uri Orbach, a popular talk-radio host and Orthodox Jew. "I think the general public will celebrate this, but the religious public will be indifferent."
Madonna and friends flew into Tel Aviv Wednesday evening on a private jet and drove straight to their downtown hotel in a convoy of limousines escorted by police. They did not speak to journalists, who were kept well away from the celebrities.
Fashion designer Donna Karan and Marla Maples, an ex-wife of Donald Trump, were other celebrities among some 2,000 students from 22 countries, according to the Kabbalah Center, sponsor of the trip. The Los Angeles-based center teaches Jewish mysticism as a spiritual tool regardless of religion.
Liora Goldenberg-Stern, a culture writer at the Maariv newspaper, said Madonna would be welcomed by Tel Aviv's rich and famous, which has embraced cabala. "It's a social thing, very trendy," she said. Madonna's picture appeared on the Maariv back page, while the mass circulation Yediot Ahronot announced the visit on the front page. Inside Yediot, a half-page spread included a photo of Madonna's luxury hotel suite as well as the special holiday meal she would be eating, including salmon mousse, steak and chicken in mustard sauce and honey cake.
Madonna was not scheduled to perform during the five-day visit. Earlier this year, she canceled three Israel concerts, citing security concerns after Israel assassinated the leader of the Hamas militant group.
Israeli police spokesman Gil Kleiman said more than 1,000 officers were being deployed to protect the Kabbalah delegation, although no special precautions were being taken for Madonna, who has a private security detail.
On Sunday, Israeli Tourism Minister Gideon Ezra is expected to give Madonna an ancient oil lamp and a coin from the Byzantine period. The ministry also hopes to use images of Madonna to promote the country abroad.
But not everyone was so welcoming.
A small group of peace activists demonstrated at Rachel's Tomb in the West Bank -- one of the stops on Madonna's itinerary -- to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians living under Israeli military rule. "I hope she's aware of where she is going," said Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, one of the protesters.
The itinerary also includes stops at the Western Wall in Jerusalem; the northern city of Safed, a center of Kabbalah; Rachel's Tomb, the traditional burial place of the biblical matriarch; and the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, author of the Zohar, the core text of Kabbalah.
Rabbi Yaakov Silber of the Merkaz Harav Jewish seminary in Jerusalem said it was hard to imagine a rabbi would be willing to teach Madonna. He said religious study frowns upon raunchy, materialistic values the singer has promoted in the past. "Maybe she has changed," he said.
By Inigo Gilmore in Jerusalem
Thursday 16 September 2004
Madonna was due to arrive in Israel last night on a five-day pilgrimage to practise her new-found faith, Kabbalah, an ancient form of Jewish mysticism. But she has already achieved the rare feat of uniting both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict in opposition.
The American pop singer's schedule includes stops at the Western Wall in Jerusalem; the northern city of Safed, a centre of Kabbalah, and Rachel's Tomb, the traditional burial place of the biblical matriarch in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Palestinians have accused her of ignoring their suffering, while Orthodox Jews have labelled her as religiously insensitive.
More than 1,000 police officers serving in one of the most demanding security environments in the world have been drafted in to protect the singer, her family and more than 2,000 participants from the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre for one of the biggest worldwide gatherings of Kabbalists.
Madonna has adopted the Hebrew name Esther, a biblical heroine who saved the Israelites. She now wears a red thread on her wrist to ward off the evil eye and is reported to refuse to perform on the Sabbath.
During her long career, the Catholic-born New Yorker's persona has moved from "material girl" to sex goddess to yoga devotee and children's author. But she insists that she is serious about Kabbalah and is irritated by accusations that her faith is a celebrity fad. Her latest concert tour was called "Re-Invention".
Her trip has already been overshadowed by controversy, particularly over Rachel's Tomb. The Bethlehem shrine has been a flashpoint during the Palestinian uprising. It is surrounded by huge slabs of concrete within a military compound, with watchtowers, razor wire and sniper positions nearby.
Israel's so-called security barrier is being erected close to the tomb and Palestinians living in the area have accused the Israeli authorities of forcing them from their homes and of using the shrine to annex land under the guise of security.
Israeli peace activists turned out at Rachel's Tomb yesterday to voice their concerns that Madonna's visit to the shrine might be used to legitimise Israel's occupation. They carried banners which read "Rachel's Tomb, Madonna, is a new settlement" and "It's the occupation, Madonna".
Angela Godfrey Goldstein, an activist with Israeli womens' peace groups, said: "We hope she will not ignore the real victims, who are the Palestinians." Michel Nasser, a Palestinian leader of Bethlehem's Christian community, echoed her sentiments. "Rachel's Tomb has become a symbol of our misery," he said. "What they are doing when they come here to the tomb is endorsing the misery.
"Madonna can come and go to this shrine but I cannot even get out of Bethlehem to go to the churches in Jerusalem. These people are naive. They probably will not meet Palestinians here and they see things only from one side."
But Rabbi Shaul Youdkevitch, who heads the Kabbalah centre in Tel Aviv, rejected accusations that Madonna was naive and possibly being used for political ends. "When we go anywhere, we go with love," he said. "It is not a political statement. I think this claim is ridiculous."
Madonna has also incorporated Jewish symbols in some of her music videos, much to the consternation of many religious leaders. Many religious Jews view her as an imposter who does not understand the true significance of Kabbalah.
Rabbi Yitzhak Kadouri, a leading Kabbalist and revered rabbinical sage, said non-Jews, and women in general, were banned from studying Jewish mysticism. "It is forbidden to teach a non-Jew Kabbalah," he said.
The visit is being organised through the Kabbalah Centre, which now has 24 locations in 12 countries. The organisation has also been accused of using cult-like tactics to retain members and raise funds.
During her trip, Madonna will not sing but is expected to give a speech at an event bringing together Israeli and Palestinian children. Organisers have ordered news reporters to wear white clothes and not to take notes when covering Madonna's events during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, which began last night.
The Israeli tourism industry has naturally welcomed a rare celebrity guest. Tourism, a key sector of the economy, has been battered by four years of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians.
On Sunday, the tourism minister, Gideon Ezra, is expected to give the singer an ancient oil lamp and a coin from the Byzantine period. "There's no question having stars in the country is a wonderful way to show the world the wonders of our nation," said Rami Levi, a tourism ministry official. The ministry was hoping that Madonna would agree to be filmed for a video to promote tourism, he said.
September 14, 2004
BY BILL ZWECKER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
Could Madonna's marriage be in trouble? Total denials on that front from her people, but sources close to the Material Mom hint that the superstar's obsession with the mystical Jewish teachings of Kabbalah are carving a chasm between Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie.
''Guy really is not into Kabbalah at all and he's increasingly concerned at how it's taking over Madonna's life,'' a longtime British filmmaking pal of Ritchie's told this column Monday. ''This is really a weird sect, and he doesn't want to have anything to do with it,'' said the Ritchie friend and colleague.
At this point, it's unclear whether the director of such edgy films as ''Snatch'' and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'' will even join his wife in Israel for special Kabbalah celebrations later this week -- tied to the upcoming Jewish holidays.
A spokeswoman for Madonna played down rumors of any marital rift. ''There are no problems. There is no rift, as you call it. Everything is absolutely fine between Madonna and Guy.''
By Shenai Raif, PA News
Mon 13 Sep 2004
A woman who killed her great-grandmother and former boyfriend had attended the controversial Kabbalah Centre made famous by Madonna.
Fashion student Phiona Davis, 25, told her doctor she was being 'controlled' and people from the London spiritual centre were walking around her flat, the Old Bailey heard.
A few months later, Davis stabbed telephone salesman Keith Fernandez 58 times in front of horrified neighbours at her home in Green Lanes, Palmers Green, north London. The attack on Mr Fernandez, 27, of Seven Kings, east London, continued after he ran off into the street.
The next day, October 13 last year, Davies killed her great-grandmother Mary Skerritt, 81, by stabbing her 130 times.
She placed a number of crosses around the floor and started fires around Mrs Skerritt's flat, said David Evans QC, prosecuting. Outside the flat in Spencer Grove, Stoke Newington, north London, she held her hands outstretched like Christ, saying: 'I am the Messiah', said Mr Evans.
Davis cried as she pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder, two alternative charges of manslaughter and to arson.
Judge Martin Stephens said that, in the 'unusual circumstances' of the trial, Davis would be allowed to remain outside court during the hearing.
Mr Evans told the jury that there was no dispute that Davis killed the two people but the panel would have to decide whether she had been insane at the time.
Thursday, 9 September, 2004, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Madonna is due to celebrate the Jewish New Year in Israel with 2,000 fellow students of Kabbalah, prompting an extensive police operation.
The singer will visit the graves of rabbinical sages in northern Israel on next week's trip, organised by the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre.
Police said 2,000 officers are being deployed after rumours that religious extremists could disrupt the visit.
Kabbalah is a type of Jewish mysticism taught regardless of religion. It has attracted several celebrities in recent years, including actress Demi Moore, singer Britney Spears and fashion designer Donna Karan.
But some ultra-Orthodox rabbis frown upon the celebrity interest in Kabbalah. Rabbi Yitzhak Kadouri, a leading Kabbalist and revered rabbinical sage, told Israeli newspaper Maariv that non-Jews, and women in general, are banned from studying Jewish mysticism.
The Kabbalah Centre group is expected to arrive in Israel as the Jewish New Year begins on Wednesday, and to visit Rachel's Tomb, the traditional burial place of the biblical matriarch in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Osnat Youdkevitch, the director of Tel Aviv's Kabbalah Centre, told the Haaretz newspaper that the group would also be expected to do "kaparos". This is a Jewish custom in which a live chicken is swung over the head, slaughtered and given to the poor ahead of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. It is said to symbolise getting rid of the year's sins.
In May Madonna cancelled plans to visit Israel as part of her ongoing world tour. She said she had wanted to concentrate on her European dates, but The Sun newspaper reported that the Israel dates were cancelled due to safety fears.
31 Aug 04
Madonna has reportedly fallen out with Kabbalah leader Rabbi Berg. The singer, who is a devout follower of the mystical Jewish faith, is said to be querying how the religion is spending the vast amounts of money she has donated and is demanding a detailed account of how it has been used. The mother-of-two - who is married to film director Guy Ritchie - also allegedly refused an invitation to give a lecture at a private seminar held by Rabbi Berg.
A source told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "Madonna wants to know what projects her money is going to and why certain projects are chosen ahead of others. She wasn't entirely satisfied that it was going towards the projects she thought deserved the most financial support." However, Madonna is still keen to donate a large amount of her earnings to the religion but just wants more say over what is done with it.
Last month, husband Guy allegedly threatened to "break the face" of one of Madonna's rabbi advisers as he was fed up with his constant interfering.
Meanwhile, the Queen of Pop has reportedly snubbed top shoe designer Manolo Blahnik after he criticised her in a TV interview. The 46-year-old star was livid when he slammed her acting ability and has refused to buy any of shoes ever since.
London | August 31, 2004 4:34:38 PM IST
Madonna's recent show at Wembley Arena turned chaotic as the police had to be called in when 70 fans, who had spent hundreds of pounds on tickets, found that there were no seats for them.
Michael James, the manager of www.londonticketshop.co.uk said that 20 customers did not get tickets because of a mistake, and added that furious fans turned on him and two other firms before they had time to buy tickets from touts. "I feared for my life. I have received death threats. But we are not a fraudulent company," The Mirror quoted James as saying.
Lawyer Alain Gavin, meanwhile, revealed that he had paid an agency 150 pounds to see the pop diva's performance but had to return back disappointed. "Some of the people had flown in from far away and they were very disappointed. Some paid 1,700 pounds for three tickets. There were kids of seven or eight-years-old who were most disappointed," added Gavin. (ANI)
By Jeannette Walls
1:40 p.m. ET Aug. 30, 2004
Madonna won't be the only celeb going to Israel to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The Reinvented singer, who has become a leading proponent of Kabbalah, will be making a pilgrimage to Tel Aviv in September to celebrate the Jewish holidays, and a source says that she will be joined by hunky actor Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, as well as Donna Karan.
The source says the Van Helsing star and the designing woman have become "quite involved" in the controversial offshoot of Judaism. "We still haven't gotten a confirmation from Demi [Moore] and Ashton [Kutcher]," says the insider. "[Moore is] shooting a movie in Wales and might not be able to join us."
What's more, says the source, the ABC news magazine "will be filming the entire event and interviewing the Kabbalah Centre's leader, Rabbi Philip Berg, his first time ever on camera. A spokeswoman for the show told The Scoop, "I can't confirm that Karan's rep couldn't be reached and Jackman's said he had no info on the story.
"It will be quite the media event for Kabbalah," says the source. "This all comes a month before a publicity extravaganza in October, including a billboard on Sunset Boulevard to promote a book on the red string 'which wards off the evil eye' as the got-to-have religious fashion accessory of the season."
People in the News
Monday, August 23, 2004
Could Madonna and Kabbalah be kaput? One insider tells Star Magazine that Esther, as she's known in those circles, is becoming disillusioned with The Kabbalah Centre. The source says, "She's upset that they've been marketing off of her. She's tired of them constantly coming to the well for money, and she was furious they leaked she was going to Israel. She's over it."
Hubby Guy Ritchie may have had enough, too. When Madonna recently performed in Fort Lauderdale, Ritchie reportedly got into a scuffle with one of the Kabbalah rabbis, who kept interrupting him when he was talking to the missus.
ANI [ SUNDAY, AUGUST 08, 2004 02:43:56 PM ]
LONDON: It seems that all's not well between Madonna and her filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie. According to reports Madonna's success has become the cause of discord between the couple.
In a desperate bid to save her marriage Madonna also tried to conceive through a high tech in vitro process but failed in the attempt.
"Guy's been accusing Madonna of cheating while she's on tour, and despite her assurances that she's not, it seems he's convinced himself that she is," a source close to the couple was quoted by The National Enquirer as saying.
"The truth is Madonna isn't cheating on Guy, and she's probably fed up with dealing with his insecurities," he added.
Friday, 6 August, 2004, 19:35 GMT 20:35 UK
A rigger who was working as part of Madonna's production crew has been injured in an accident during preparations for her latest tour. The man suffered a broken arm and leg in the accident at Earl's Court. The London Ambulance Service said the rigger was flown by air ambulance to hospital after falling 30ft.
Madonna begins her UK tour in Manchester on 14 August and is scheduled to play Earl's Court on 18 and 19 August.
An ambulance spokesman said: "We received a call from Earl's Court at 1pm to say that a man had fallen approximately 30ft. "An ambulance and air ambulance were called and crews were on the scene for around two hours because there were difficulties moving the patient. His main injuries appeared to be to his shoulder and arm."
Madonna's manager Caresse Henry said: "The entire crew, performers and staff, especially Madonna, were very saddened to hear about the accident but are hopeful that he will make a full recovery."
London | August 01, 2004 2:35:57 PM IST
Pop icon Madonna's obsession with Kabblah seems to be getting to her husband, British director Guy Ritchie, who reportedly had a fight with the "Like a Virgin," singer after he threatened a Kabblah priest.
According to The Sun, Ritchie was trying to talk to Madonna while she was rehearsing for the Re-Invention tour, but could not get a word in because the couple were repeatedly interrupted by a rabbi.
An enraged Ritchie is reported to have grabbed the rabbi by his collar and threatened to break his face if he didn't leave him alone with his wife. "He reared up, the veins were sticking out of his forehead. He grabbed the guy's shirt. He just snarled, 'If you don't back off I'm going to break year face.' It was scary," said an onlooker.
Madonna is said to have jumped to the rabbi's defence and screamed at Ritchie, "Don't ****ing embarrass me," after which they both stormed off in a fury. Madonna failed to show up for rehearsals for the rest of the day.
by Mario Azzopardi
di-ve.com Film & TV > Cinema Gossip
Friday, 02 July, 2004
Pop superstar and actress Madonna was left stunned when she heard the news that a taxi exploded outside her New York home last weekend. The yellow cab burst into flames and the petrol tank blew up exactly in front the singer's Upper West Side property.
At the time of the explosion, Madonna was at rehearsing for her Reinvention Tour. Her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, was seen watching the action from a balcony with his three-year old son Rocco and stepdaughter Lourdes. Manhattan police do not suspect any intentional foul play against Madonna.
Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie filmed Swept Away in Comino in 2001. While staying on the island, Guy Ritchie announced he intends to shoot The Siege of Malta based on the 1565 Great Siege. At the time, Guy Ritchie promised that this film would be of "Gladiator proportions". Unfortunately, nothing has materialized/
IOL - 29/06/2004 - 19:35:50
Pop superstar Madonna and her family were left stunned after a taxi exploded outside their New York home at the weekend.
The yellow cab burst into flames and the petrol tank blew up as it pulled up outside the singer's Upper West Side property.
Madonna, who is staying in the pad while she performs her Reinvention tour, was nowhere to be seen, but her husband, director Guy ritchie, was spotted watching the action from a balcony with three-year old son Rocco and stepdaughter Lourdes.
Manhattan firefighters managed to put out the blaze before it spread, and no one was hurt.
An onlooker says: "There was obviously something wrong with the taxi when it pulled up outside Madonna's house.
"Then smoke started pouring out of it and you could see flames coming from underneath it. A few minutes later there was a loud bang and the whole thing went on fire. It was very scary."
Friday 25 June 2004
A stalker who has been frightening pop star Madonna was thrown out of her New York concert venue twice in two nights last week, it has emerged.
The man was ejected from Madison Square Garden by security staff who had been issued with his photograph.
But he was not arrested because there is no court order against him being near Madonna, according to a report in the New York Post.
The stalker, who has not been named, was moved on by security staff who found him loitering outside the arena during the first performance of Madonna's Reinvention Tour in New York last week.
He returned the next night - this time with a ticket - but was again denied entry. It is understood that the stalker has been pestering Madonna with repeated calls to her office.
A representative for the star was not immediately available for comment.
Madonna has suffered the trauma of being stalked in the past. Robert Hoskins was jailed in 1996 for making threats against the singer.
Big News Network.com Friday 25th June, 2004
A man accused of stalking Madonna was thrown out of two of the pop diva's New York concerts, it was reported Thursday.
The alleged stalker, who had been repeatedly calling Madonna's office, was spotted last Wednesday and Thursday during the first two nights of the entertainer's Manhattan dates at Madison Square Garden, the New York Post said.
Security, who recognized the man from a photo handed out to all guards, promptly escorted the man from the facility on both nights.
The first night, he was removed from outside the building. The second night, he was inside the building with a concert ticket.
Madonna did not have a restraining order against the man, so security could only eject him. He was not arrested.
A prior Madonna stalking incident in 1996 resulted in Robert Hoskins being sent to jail for 10 years for making violent threats against the singer.
Madonna's final New York show is Thursday.
Sat, 12 Jun 2004
Madonna's gruelling tour schedule is becoming too much for her, according to reports. The super-fit star has collapsed for the second time on her 'Re-invention' tour barely making it off the stage on time before she fell to the ground on the last occasion.
The ultra-skinny Queen of Pop has been showing serious signs of strain recently and according to The Sun, her personal doctor has now been ordered to shadow her wherever she goes.
Her nutritionist has also been told to re-look at her diet to ensure that all her meals are balanced.
The Sun quotes a set-worker: "She had just said thank you to the crowd and was coming off stage when she took a dive. She stayed on the ground for a moment before her helpers got her back on her feet.
"She claims she is OK but there are real fears she is over-working. She is very thin and is pushing herself really hard and shes not been sleeping well. "Shes very fit but shes not as young as she used to be."
A spokesperson for Madonna agreed that the star was indeed burnt-out, saying: "Madonna didnt faint but she was certainly suffering from exhaustion."
London June 11, 2004 1:56:22 PM IST
Madonna's Reinvention Tour seems to be taking a toll of her health. According to The Sun, the pop queen has been was struck down for the second time recently owing to her grueling live performances in California.
The exhausted star collapsed into a heap and had to be tended to by her aides. She finally had cut short the last part of her concert, and barely made it off the stage. Fans watched in horror as Madonna's legs gave way and she tumbled to the ground.
Her staff fears that Madonna is pushing herself too hard for this tour without bothering about her health.
"She had just said 'thank you' to the crowd and was coming off stage when she took a dive. She stayed on the ground for a moment before her helpers got her back on her feet. She claims she is OK but there are real fears she is over-working. She is very thin and is pushing herself really hard - and she's not been sleeping well. She's very fit but she's not as young as she used to be," a backstage aid was quoted as saying. Madonna's private doctor has now been called to accompany her throughout the tour. (ANI)
June 11, 2004
Fans are worried about the health of perfectionist performer Madonna after the 45-year-old singer reportedly fainted following a recent concert, reports MSNBC.com.
After her first concert in Inglewood, California, Madonna thanked the crowd and "fainted backstage in full sight of those less fortunate who had cheaper tickets way above the stage," according to a report in The Daily Trojan, a student newspaper for the University of Southern California.
Fans have raved about Madonna's fitness and her voice and precision performances, but some complained that she didn't give enough encores. If indeed she did faint, that might be the reason. "She didn't faint, but she was certainly suffering from exhaustion," Madonna's rep said.
Madonna also cancelled a concert, saying she had the stomach flu. The day after the cancellation, Madonna told people that "she thought she was superwoman and thought she could do it all, but she realised she couldn't," according to a source.
By Elena Vassileva
Wednesday, June 9, 2004
Unpredictable. Madonna´s latest tour, Reinvention, has her taking different approaches to old favorites such as "Express Yourself" and "Material Girl." The performer worked so hard at her June 3 Anaheim show that she fainted as soon as she left stage.
It has been a long time since discussing Madonna's body became a truism: the incredible stamina and the formidable biceps on this modestly-sized woman, as well as the chameleonic malleability of her face, have solicited as much space in review columns as the consistent doubt over this divine blasphemer's talent. Madonna's status as the invincible diva is no longer at issue, and what is at issue even with her fans is how much longer this body is going to last as it is put to the test of the mind-bending dancing routines in the tour concerts. A Madonna fan would be heard saying, "She's a goddess," while the less favorably inclined would concede "She's incredibly fit, she's almost like a machine," and still both parties would part with a sense that Madonna's body is beyond physical demise.
The third Inglewood concert had been postponed due to her stomach flu, which in itself seemed bizarre; the concepts 'Madonna' and 'malady' do not seem to go together.
On June 3 in Anaheim, having cut the final part of the concert to just "Thank you," Madonna fainted backstage in full sight of those less fortunate who had cheaper tickets way above the stage.
"Reinvention" is probably the single most-used attribute of Madonna's talent, which even the music snobs had to acknowledge, and therefore it is almost disappointing to find out that the name of her new 50-date tour is Reinvention. Unless this actually is the last tour, which, many believed, was the case with her 2001 Drowned World, a less eclectic as well as a less physically demanding performance ...
May 28, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
The threats that deterred pop icon Madonna from playing three Israeli concerts did not come from Palestinian Arab groups but more likely from local Islamist organizations in the United Kingdom where she lives most of the year, according to a high-ranking Israeli official.
A source close to Madonna confirmed to WND the pop singer canceled three Israeli stops on her recently launched Re-Invention tour after an unidentified terror group threatened her and her children, Lourdes, 7, and Rocco, 3. The source close to the singer confirmed to WND on condition of anonymity a series of written threats were received and they included "specific information on the movements of her, her children and the people around her."
"The threats were very detailed and sent in the name of a Palestinian terror group," the source said. The source would not disclose which group was named, but said "the people who sent the threats have intelligence capabilities in the London area. [Madonna's] people are taking them very seriously. "She was so excited about going to Israel, and she still would have, but it was the mentioning of her kids that has her frightened. And again, I mean they had a lot of real information."
But a high-ranking Israeli security official told WND that while he has information on the threats, he is suspicious that they actually came from any Palestinian terror group. "These threats would be out of character for Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And why [Madonna], not the many, many other artists who have performed in Israel the past few years?"
While Hamas and Islamic Jihad have threatened violence at cultural activities, these threats usually are directed against Israeli sports teams and artists, including a recent Israeli soccer tournament. Many popular rock bands, such as Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers, have toured Israel without being threatened, and a variety artists and groups are scheduled to tour the Jewish state this summer, including just this week the popular Russian punk band Korol i Shut and 80's pop star Marc Almond.
The security official speculated the threats likely came from an independent group in London, where Madonna currently resides. "Maybe a local group is offended by her," the official said.
UK authorities long have struggled with a rising tide of Islamic extremism. Groups such as London based Al-Muhajiroun, suspected of ties with al-Qaida, operate openly and are allowed to hold rallies with tens of thousands of Muslims who promote suicide bombings and preach anti-Western ideology.
Madonna, who practices Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, includes provocative images in her tour, such as video footage of a Palestinian boy and an Israeli boy walking arm-in-arm, and simulated sex gestures during a tango with a female dancer. Her 18-city tour ends Sept. 5 in Paris with stops in Las Vegas, New York, Toronto, Manchester and London.
by Rob Evans
May 25, 2004 04:21 PM - With just one show in the books, Madonna's Re-Invention Tour has run into a snag: the star is sick.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon (5/25) by Madonna's manager Caresse Henry, Tuesday's Madonna performance at The Forum in Inglewood, CA, has been postponed until Wednesday (5/26) because the pop singer is suffering from the stomach flu. "Madonna's doctors have put her on complete bed rest for 24 hours," the statement said.
According to promoters, fans holding tickets for Tuesday's performance can use them for admission to Wednesday's show. A third Madonna date at The Forum, set for Thursday (5/27), is expected to go on as scheduled. Madonna's outing opened at The Forum on Monday (5/24), and tours North America through early August.
Tue, 25 May 2004
Pop icon Madonna has reportedly cancelled three concerts at Israel's Tel Aviv stadium after she received letters threatening her life and those of her two children.
The threats were reportedly sent in letters from unknown Palestinian militants. According to The Sun, Madonna had at first decided to go ahead with the tour despite the threats, but after more letters, she began fearing for the lives of her children, Lourdes (7) and Rocco (3).
The Sun reports that the letters were delivered to the pop icon's office, and allegedly "displayed in-depth knowledge" about Madonna's close aides. They reportedly said that Madonna's children would be killed if she went ahead with the gigs.
Madonna last performed in Israel in 1993. The Sun quotes a source: "The notes were unbelievably scary. Madonna is a strong woman but she freaked out when her kids were mentioned. At first she was prepared to go on stage anyway and hire extra security. "But she was not ready to take chances with her kids, they are her whole world."
Madonna is thought to be targeted as she is a huge icon representing the west, and not because she is a a member of the Kabbalah faith, a derivative of the Jewish faith. Madonna's office, however, has stuck to its story that the singer cancelled the tour because she wants to concentrate fully on her work in Europe.
POP singer Madonna has reportedly cancelled three concerts in Israel after Palestinian terrorists threatened to kill her and her two young children.
Madonna was said to be terrified by threatening letters from an unnamed Palestinian group, which included details about her children, Lourdes, 7, and Rocco, 3, British newspaper The Sun reported.
It quoted a source as saying the singer was a target because she was a symbol of the West and not because she practises the Jewish faith Kabbalah.
"At first she was prepared to go on stage anyway and hire extra security," the source said. "But she was not ready to take chances with her kids.
"It became clear that these people were not messing around -- they even knew intimate details like who her personal staff are."
With 43 Palestinians dead, the Israeli army yesterday lifted its siege of a key Rafah neighbourhood.
Operation Rainbow is part of preparations for a pullout from the area envisaged by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. His Likud party rejected the original proposals and a revised plan will go to the Cabinet in a week.
The new formula reportedly calls for a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements in stages, instead of all at once. - AAP
Return to 2004 (Part Two)
For previous articles, continue to Madonna Watch 2