Madonna's estranged brother Christopher Ciccone must be smirking at the news coming out of a British court: The singer claims an interior designer she hired to work on her Beverly Hills mansion surreptitiously photographed pictures of her wedding to Guy Ritchie, then sold them to the Mail On Sunday, which published them in October. Madonna wants $7.4 million in copyright damages from the paper and has identified the designer as Robert Joseph Wilber, heretofore unknown to the public. Of course she could have avoided this whole mess if she hadn't screwed over and disowned her interior designer brother, who worked on that very mansion.
Ciccone's tell-all memoir about life with his sister, as excepted in (ha!) the Mail On Sunday, details their many fights over interior decoration. After arguing with Madonna and her husband over the smallest details in a renovation of Diane Keaton's old house in Beverly Hills (Guy keeps calling his choices "twee"), Ciccone is asked to redecorate a new house in three month flat. He feels put upon, but needs the money, and soon a fight is raging by email and fax, and the singer starts withholding money.
'Madonna wants me to tell you that she doesn't feel you did enough to warrant the final payment. So she isn't going to pay it,' she says...
'You tell Madonna that if she wants to see any of the rest of the furniture I bought for her and for which she's waiting, she had better pay me.'
...At the end of October 2003, she decides to return one of the light fixtures I've purchased for her. Caresse takes it back to the shop and learns that I have charged a percentage above the cost - the standard mark-up every designer takes.
On October 24, Madonna calls me and says that she can't believe I've done this to her, calling me a thief, a liar, the most untrustworthy person she's ever met and accusing me of betraying her. The accusation that hurts the most is when she yells: 'I've made you what you are. You wouldn't be anything without me.'
...[In] a fax... she hurls further accusations at me, ending: 'Please never contact me again.'
In another case, Madonna purportedly screws Ciccone over to the tune of $64,000 by authorizing the purchase of items at auction, and then insisting she won't pay for them.
As she is well aware, Sotheby’s policy is that if paintings bought in auction are returned, they will re-auction them but will retain half the proceeds. But, for her own reasons, Madonna is pretending that she doesn’t know that.
I feel as if I am going to throw up. ‘But, Madonna, I’ve spent my own money on them. I don’t make the kind of money you make. I can’t just drop $64,000. That’s all the money I have.’
‘I don’t care.’
‘But you can’t not care.’
‘Sell them to somebody else. If they are worth that much money, sell them to somebody. I don’t care what you do. I don’t want the paintings.’
She gets up and sweeps out of the room, leaving me standing there, clutching an invoice for $64,000 and three paintings, and feeling as though she has punched me in the stomach.
It sounds like the singer eventually made another designer feel "punched... in the stomach" too!