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Madonna sued by Raising Malawi charity workers over unpaid salaries


Summary of story from NYDailyNews March 28, 2011

Eight workers fired from Madonna’s now-defunct Raising Malawi Academy for Girls are suing the superstar.

“We are claiming unpaid salary and benefits,” their lawyer, Mzondi Chirambo, told the Daily News on Monday.

Chirambo said he filed the lawsuit on March 21, three days before news of the school’s collapse broke in New York.

Madonna had announced a planned overhaul in January, saying the academy “simply would not serve enough children” in a country where only 33% of girls attend secondary school.

“I want to reach thousands not hundreds of girls. I want to do more and I want to do it better,” she said.

However her celebrity-backed Raising Malawi charity scrapped plans to build the $15 million school for 400 girls just outside the capital of Lilongwe after $3.8 million was spent with little to show for it, the New York Times reported last week.

The pop diva, who has adopted two children from Malawi, founded the non-profit in 2006 with Rabbi Michael Berg, co-director of The Kabbalah Centre International.

Warning signs surfaced late last year when the charity’s executive director, a boyfriend of Madonna’s former fitness trainer, quit amid a probe of alleged mismanagement.

An audit found outlandish spending on salaries, office space, cars with private drivers, and a golf membership, the Times reported.

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