By Josh Grossberg
Note to hikers: Don’t cross Madonna’s borderline.
Looking to protect their privacy from the prying eyes of paparazzi and other star gazers, the Material Girl and her filmmaker-hubby, Guy Ritchie, have taken legal steps to prevent would-be wanderers from traipsing through their $15 million English country estate.
The couple are looking to challenge a new law granting public access to open countryside for “ramblers,” aka hikers.
The case has led to an open inquiry that kicked off Wednesday. Mr. and Mrs. Madonna are appealing a decision by Britain’s Countryside Agency that identified 100 acres of the couple’s 1,200-acre spread as open walkway.
In legal papers, the dynamic duo argued that such a designation violated their privacy rights and exposes them to unwanted attention from tabloid photographers, stalkers, and other celeb-obssessed types they’ve long been trying to keep at bay.
Since they purchased the manor in Dorset, southern England, Madonna and Ritchie have protested the presence of low-flying planes buzzing their property. They were also forced to take down new high-security gates after local authorities determined the couple failed to obtain the proper permits.
Now, the couple are seeking to have the parcels of their property reclassified as “semi-improved” grassland for hunting to prevent the public from getting into the hiking groove.
But she better hope her “Lucky Star” comes through.
Officials for the Countryside Agency have already stated that they’re unlikely to make any exceptions for the rich and famous.
“We are confident that we are right and the land should stay on the map,” Andy Wistow, a senior Countryside Officer, told Reuters.
Such a decision would bode well for the 140,000-member strong Ramblers Association, which has pushed for the new law.
The pop diva’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, declined to comment on the matter.
Madonna and Ritchie are not expected to attend the five-day inquiry. A ruling will be issued sometime this summer.
As Madonna’s legal minions wage one battle in Britain, she has dispatched another team to take care of the Hollywood front.
Madonna is seeking a court order on behalf of her Maverick Records label to cut ties with Warner Music Group, after contract renewal talks broke down. Madonna and the other Maverick principals have sued Warner for $200 million, claiming breach of contract and fraud.
Dockets aside, Madonna plans to get back to doing what she does best: entertaining. The popster plans to launch her summer re-Invention Tour May 24 in Los Angeles. The trek, her first in two years, will crisscross North America before heading to Europe and Israel.
Source : E!Online