Madonna has said she was fined $1 million (£800,000) by the Russian government for publicly supporting LGBTQ+ rights during a concert in St Petersburg.
The singer delivered an emotional speech while performing in the city as part of her MDNA Tour in 2012, comparing the fight for LGBTQ+ rights to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Initial reports at the time suggested that the singer was fined $17,000 (£13,500) over the incident, but she revealed on social media yesterday (July 20) that she faced a much heftier sum.
I made this speech at a concert in St. Petersburg 8 years ago. I was fined 1 million dollars by The government for supporting the Gay community.
I never paid……………….. #freedomofspeech #powertothepeople#mdna https://t.co/6wH53V4aUn pic.twitter.com/LGhV5gUerc
— Madonna (@Madonna) July 20, 2020
Sharing a clip of the speech, she wrote: “I made this speech at a concert in St. Petersburg 8 years ago. I was fined 1 million dollars by the government for supporting the Gay community.”
“I never paid,” Madonna added, alongside the hashtags “#freedomofspeech #powertothepeople #mdna”.
She told the crowd in her 2012 speech: “I’m here to say that the gay community, and gay people, here and all around the world, have the same rights (as everyone else)… the same rights to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love.”
The singer has backed the LGBTQ+ community throughout her career, and was given the GLAAD Advocate for Change Award last year in recognition of her pioneering activism.
Last month, Madonna attended a Black Lives Matter protest in London while on crutches.
Thousands gathered in the city to march on Parliament Square, demanding justice for George Floyd and all those killed as a result of police brutality.
Photos of the pop star in the crowd were shared by fans on Twitter, and showed her walking on crutches. She was forced to cancel a number of shows on her ‘Madame X’ tour earlier this year because of a knee injury.