After being accused of "blackmail" and outlandish diva behavior during her trip to Malawi, Madonna is striking back at the leadership of the African nation, accusing them of spreading "lies" and "ridiculous allegations" about her.
According to earlier reports, the Malawi government released a scalding critique of Madge this week. The "Material Girl" was accused of demanding VIP treatment during her recent visit to the impoverished country.
"Granted, Madonna is a famed international musician. But that does not impose an injunction of obligation on any government under whose territory Madonna finds herself, including Malawi, to give her state treatment. Such treatment, even if she deserved it, is discretionary not obligatory," said a Wednesday statement released by President Joyce Banda's office, according to the AP.
The president alleges that Madonna had wanted special treatment at the airport when she was leaving the country.
"Kindness, as far as its ordinary meaning is concerned, is free and anonymous. If it can't be free and silent, it is not kindness; it is something else. Blackmail is the closest it becomes," the statement said.
Later on Wednesday, Madge did not mince her words in responding to these accusations.
"I’m saddened that Malawi’s President...has chosen to release lies about what we’ve accomplished, my intentions, how I personally conducted myself while visiting Malawi and other untruths," she said in a statement. "I have no intentions of being distracted by these ridiculous allegations."
Madonna, who has adopted two children from the southern African country, runs several humanitarian projects there. The mom of four has reportedly spent more than $11 million of her own money on these projects, which has reportedly included the recent establishment of 10 community schools.
“I was very happy to visit with the children of Malawi earlier this month and to see with my own eyes the ten new primary schools in Kasungu province that Raising Malawi and buildOn completed this past year," Madonna said in the statement, referring to the recent weeklong trip to Malawi that she took with her kids.
"These schools are now educating more than 4,800 children with girls attending in equal numbers. These children who were formerly learning outside on the ground, in unsafe buildings or not at all, now get to attend classes on a daily basis. My children and I were overjoyed to visit these schools and see what amazing progress has been made," she continued.
Banda had previously questioned the validity of this school-building initiative.
"Where are the 10 schools she has built? She is just building school blocks at already existing schools. In some cases she just renovated an already existing block. This is an insult to the people of Malawi. She can't be lying to the world at our expense," Banda said.
Madge and those involved in her charity claim that the Malawi leadership is lashing out because Banda's sister, Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, was fired as the CEO for Madonna's charity, Raising Malawi. Banda, in turn, has dismissed these claims.
It remains to be seen whether the mounting tension between Madonna and Banda will hinder the singer's humanitarian efforts there. Still, the artist insists that she is committed to Malawi for the long run.
"I came to Malawi seven years ago with honorable intentions. I returned earlier this month to view the new schools we built. I did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere during my visit," Madonna said in the statement. "I will not be distracted or discouraged by other people’s political agendas. I made a promise to the children of Malawi and I am keeping that promise.”
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