Madonna criticized by Malawi government over VIP treatment

Madonna has had a major falling-out with the government of Malawi, the African nation she once took on as her pet cause.

Madonna visits with students at Mkoko primary school in Chorwe, in Kasungu Province in Malawi last week. (Nathan Rissman / Courtesy of Liz Rosenberg via Reuters)
Madonna visits with students at Mkoko primary school in Chorwe, in Kasungu Province in Malawi last week. (Nathan Rissman / Courtesy of Liz Rosenberg via Reuters)

In a statement released to reporters Wednesday, President Joyce Banda’s office blasted the superstar for supposedly demanding VIP treatment during her trip there last week; the president had earlier accused Madonna of exaggerating claims that she had built 10 schools in the country, reports AP. The UK Telegraph reported earlier this week that Madonna’s entourage was aggrieved to find they had to line up with other passengers at the airport and get frisked on their way out of the country; on their way in, and on previous trips, they’d been granted VIP status to get around such hassle. In the angry statement, the government rep said that VIP status “even if she deserved it, is discretionary not obligatory.”

A rep for Madonna — who has adopted two children from the impoverished country and founded a charity devoted to helping its orphans — fired back at Banda, claiming that the president is exacting revenge for her sister getting fired from Madonna’s organization, Raising Malawi.

(Read the full AP story: Malawian government harshly criticizes Madonna, accuses her of holding country to ransom)

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Amy Argetsinger · April 10, 2013