NFL sues M.I.A. for $16.6 million over 2012 Super Bowl middle finger gesture
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Flipping the bird and mouthing “I Don’t give a sh--,” during her the 2012 Super Bowl halftime performance of "Give Me All Your Luvin' " with Madonna and Nicki Minaj, could cost M.I.A even more than the original $1.5 million that the NFL has been demanding for the last two years.
The NFL has been seeking $1.5m (£900,000) in damages from the 38-year old rapper for breaching her performance contract, calling the gesture "offensive” and that it was a ‘blatant, intentional calculated attempt by M.I.A., a musical artist, to garner worldwide publicity and attention for herself.’
Now the NFL is reportedly claiming an additional $15.1 million in ‘restitution,’ according to the Hollywood Reporter.
This additional claim is for the “alleged value of public exposure she received by appearing for an approximately two minute segment during Madonna's performance," and "The figure is based on what advertisers would have paid for ads during this time."
The new legal action prompted the Paper Planes hitmaker to take to Twitter and jokingly ask Madonna to help her in the $16million lawsuit, "@madonna ummm ..... can i borrow 16 million?"
As well as asking Madonna for the cash, MIA also tweeted a screenshot of photograph of the documents that she'd been sent, alongside the caption: "THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT ME TO SIGN , THAT IVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR 2 YEARS ON TOP OF 16 MILLION."
A spokesperson from M.I.A.’s legal team said, “The claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic.”, and that “the continued pursuit of this proceeding is transparently an exercise by NFL intended solely to bully and make an example of Respondents for daring to challenge NFL.”
Her lawyer also pointed out that past Super Bowl halftime acts have included inappropriate behavior like Michael Jackson's 1993 Super Bowl show when he repeatedly grabbed or fondled his genitalia especially while he sang ‘Billie Jean', and Prince's 2007 Super Bowl Halftime show when he caressed the neck of his guitar "as if stroking an erect oversized phallus."
M.I.A previously uploaded a video of herself wearing an Oakland Raiders top discussing the incident on the phone to an unnamed person, during which she accused the NFL of a "massive display of corporation d*ck-shaking", adding that there were more offensive images on show during the Super Bowl - like the teen cheerleader's antics that she believes were much worse than her flicking her middle finger.