CELEBRITY

M.I.A. Caught In Legal War With NFL Over Super Bowl Middle Finger

09/19/2013 05:11 pm ET | Updated Sep 20, 2013

It seems like ages since M.I.A. flashed her middle finger while performing "Give Me All Your Luvin'" alongside Madonna and Nicki Minaj at the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show. But it turns out the rapper has been engaged in a legal battle over the incident ever since.

The Hollywood Reporter obtained documents filed at the American Arbitration Association that indicate the NFL pursued legal action to the noisy tune of $1.5 million in damages, arguing M.I.A. allegedly breached her contract with the organization and damaged its reputation. The proceedings were reportedly filed on March 13, 2012 -- slightly more than one month after the performance in question.

A hush-hush legal war between M.I.A. and the NFL has therefore been going on for well over a year now. Just last week, lawyers associated with the NFL sought to have the 38-year-old rapper deemed liable, according to THR. If successful, the case will move on to a trial. If the battle gets that far, M.I.A. reportedly plans to make the goings-on more widely known.

M.I.A. still hopes to settle the dispute out of the public spotlight, but her lawyer, Howard King, made it clear to THR that the singer won't back down if the situation escalates. King mocked the attention the NFL has given to M.I.A.'s actions "in light of the weekly felonies committed by its stars, the bounties placed by coaches on opposing players, the homophobic and racist comments uttered by its players, the complete disregard for the health of players and the premature deaths that have resulted from same, and the raping of public entities ready to sacrifice public funds to attract teams."

In the wake of the Super Bowl, Madonna called M.I.A.'s move "a teenage thing to do" and said she found it an "irrelevant" action.

Click over to The Hollywood Reporter to read more about the ongoing dispute.

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