Madonna's Mexico City Gym Kicks Off With Controversy



After borough chief declared facility lacked permits, Mexican authorities said missing documents were received, Hard Candy Gym OK to open.

UPDATED: The debut health club in Madonna's planned international franchise was already facing closure before it officially opened, reports Reuters. The singer's first Hard Candy Gym location, which launched with an inauguration party attended by the pop superstar in Mexico City on Monday, initially raised eyebrows with Mexican authorities who noted that the site lacked required city permits and an adequate parking facility, factors that first came to light in the Mexican newspaper Excelsior.

On Wednesday afternoon, Demetrio Sodi, the borough chief of the Miguel Hidalgo area where the fitness center is located, said Madonna's gym obtained a permit for Monday's launch event but had not yet acquired the commercial use permits necessary to legally operate the fitness compound.

Later that day, the Associated Press reported that Mexican authorities publicly acknowledged that Madonna's legal team had presented all the missing documents and the gym was free to begin operating.

Madonna, who is in post-production on her directorial debut, the romantic drama period film W.E., due next year, plans to expand the Hard Candy Gym franchise to at least 10 more locations, including branches in Argentina, Brazil and Russia.