Tel Aviv Man Arrested for Stealing Unreleased Songs From Madonna

Singer's lawyer says theft caused her millions of dollars in professional, personal damage.

AP

Police arrested a Tel Aviv man on Wednesday on suspicion of hacking into the personal computers of Madonna and other international artists, stealing their unreleased songs and seling them on the Internet.

Tamir Afori, Madonna's attorney in Israel, said the stolen material included "songs that haven't yet been released, sketches of songs, photos and other personal material." Afori said the theft, which has been going on for a long time, had caused the singer millions of dollars in professional and personal damage.

Last month, the 56-year-old singer posted on Instagram a photo of a broken iPod with the message, "This broken iPod is a symbol of my broken heart! I have been violated as a human and an artist!"

The posting followed her discovery that 13 songs from an album of hers in the works, "Rebel Heart," were already on the Web in unfinished "demo" form.

The police's National Cyber Unit began investigating the case a few months ago in conjunction with the FBI. The probe grew out of a complaint by the Israeli representative of an international recording artist.

Police raided the 38-year-old suspect's house and confiscated computers and other evidence. He was to be arraigned later in the day in Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court on charges of intellectual property theft and aggravated fraud.