Madonna facing legal action

Last updated 11:23 10/02/2011
Mercy James and Madonna
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VISITING: Madonna holds hands with daughter Mercy James as she arrives at the 'Raising Malawi Academy for Girls' in Chinkhota.

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Madonna is facing legal action from her adopted daughter Mercy James' Malawian relatives, who allege the singer broke a promise to allow them regular contact with the little girl.

The pop star won her appeal to adopt abandoned Mercy James in 2009 after the tot's 14-year-old mother died just days after giving birth.

James' family claims they have not seen the youngster since the adoption, despite Madonna allegedly vowing to visit.

Now they have turned to legal experts at Malawi's Civil Liberties Committee (CILIC) to help them get closer to Mercy James.

CILIC Director Emmie Chanika explains, "Mercy's family have met me several times over the past year and they have been very upset. They have a strong recollection of being told that they would be able to see Mercy and have regular contact with her - and that when she is an adult she will return to live with them in Malawi.

"I believe they have a case in law because there appears to have been a verbal contract between them and Madonna's representatives. I have already consulted a lawyer on their behalf. Obviously there could be problems as there is no written agreement, but the lawyer is looking into it.

"I am preparing a letter which will appeal to Madonna's lawyer Alan Chinula to intervene on the family's behalf and ask Madonna to kindly let Mercy meet her family. None of us desires an embarrassing and expensive court case which could humiliate or inconvenience Madonna. The best outcome would be a proper agreement to let Mercy meet her family on a regular basis."

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