Madonna Blames 'Thugs' For Paris Protests, Criticizes Media Coverage
Madonna has spoken out about the angry reaction that followed her 45-minute set at Paris' Olympia music hall on Thursday.
"Playing the Olympia was a magical moment for me and it was real treat to do this special show for my fans and be so close to them," the singer says in a statement posted to her website.
"Unfortunately," she writes, "at the end of the show -- after I left the stage -- a few thugs who were not my fans rushed the stage and started throwing plastic bottles pretending to be angry fans."
The last-minute date, an intimately staged show separate from the full-scale MDNA arena tour, elicited boos and cries of "refund!" from disappointed audience members, some of whom had camped out for several days and paid 275 euros ($340) for the brief performance.
Shouts of "salope!" -- French for "slut" -- outside the venue may have initially been started by supporters of Marine Le Pen, the BBC reports. (The face of the right wing politician appeared beneath a swastika at Madonna's July 14 date at Stade de France, angering many.) But the lines separating angry protesters from frustrated fans quickly blurred, as the unruly crowd united against the pop star.
Longtime spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg has expressed surprise at the backlash, saying the Olympia date was intended as an olive branch to the country, costing the singer $1 million and "tremendous effort" to stage.
In her statement, Madonna chose to focus on the positive -- while laying some blame on the media for blowing the story out of proportion:
"The press reports have focused on [the incident] and not the joyous aspect of the evening," she says. "But nothing can take away or ruin this very special evening for me and my fans. When I looked out in the audience, everyone I saw had a smile on their face. I look forward to having this wonderful experience again."