(Reuters) - Madonna attempted on Tuesday to stop an upcoming auction of a prison break-up letter from rapper Tupac Shakur and a note in which she called singer Whitney Houston and actress Sharon Stone "horribly mediocre."
The "Rebel Heart" singer filed a request in New York Supreme Court for a temporary restraining order against New York auction house Gotta Have It Collectibles to halt its sale, due to start on Wednesday.
Madonna said in court documents that she was not aware until reading press reports that many of the items listed for auction, including the letter from her former boyfriend Shakur, were no longer in her possession.
In the two-and-a-half-page letter, dated January 1995 and written at a time Shakur was in prison for sexual assault, he wrote that he had ended their romance because he felt that dating a white woman could jeopardize his career.
"I felt due to my 'image' I would be letting down half of the people who made me what I thought I was. I never meant to hurt you," Shakur wrote to Madonna. Shakur was only 25 when he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in September 1996.
Also among the 20 items Madonna is seeking to remove from sale are a pair of her panties, an old checkbook, a hairbrush and personal photos.
Gotta Have It Collectibles did not immediately return requests for comment.
The items were consigned to auction by Darlene Lutz, a woman Madonna described in court documents as a former friend and art consultant, who she said had "betrayed my trust in an outrageous effort to obtain my possessions without my knowledge or consent."
In another letter up for auction, which was written in the early 1990s, Madonna wrote: "It's so unequivocally frustrating to read that Whitney Houston has the music career I wish I had and Sharon Stone has the film career I'll never have."
"Not because I want to be these women - because I'd rather die, but they're so horribly mediocre and they're always being held up as paragons of virtue (or) some sort of measuring stick to humiliate me," the letter added.
Houston drowned in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub in 2012.
Stone in a Facebook post last week replied that she is a friend of Madonna, adding: "I love and adore you; won't be pitted against you by any invasion of our personal journeys."
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)