Madonna shocked an audience in the Philippines when she called out her trainer and then used the flag in a “lewd manner.”
If there’s one thing you can always count on at a Madonna concert, it’s some element of controversy. The Queen of Pop was as unabashedly vocal as ever during the Manila leg of her “Rebel Heart” tour — calling out her former trainer for having sex with her ex-boyfriend and getting herself into hot water with Philippines authorities by using the flag in an inappropriate way that could violate the country’s law.
Let’s start with the poor woman Page Six has since identified as Madonna’s long-term trainer Nicole Winhoffer — who now has the privilege of being publicly shamed. While on stage in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,000, Madonna called her out by saying, “Once I had a Filipino trainer — this beautiful, beautiful girl. She was gorgeous and very talented as a trainer. But she f—-d my boyfriend, so I fired her.”
She went on to joke, “In this case, it was not a happy ending. I know I sound like I am cynical and I don’t believe in romance and that I think everybody is backstabbing.”
Madonna and Winhoffer worked together for five years and the trainer served as creative director for a franchise of gyms called Hard Kandy Fitness, which Madonna opened all over the world. They parted ways in 2014, but Madonna made no mention of why their friendship turned sour — until, of course, she decided to make mention of it in front of thousands of strangers.
A source says Winhoffer and Madonna shared the same lover, but that she slept with him before he dated Madonna, so who knows what’s true? As an artist, I realize Madonna uses her music and the stage as a platform from which to express her deepest emotions, including anger, bitterness and jealousy. But I can’t help but feel a private confession like this one about another woman would have been very different in 1985, when the Internet and social media weren’t around to pick up on it at lightning speed, identify the “culprit” and hang her by a Twitter noose within minutes.
As for this bizarre incident with the Filipino flag, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines decided that Madonna may have broken the law and could be deported because she wore the flag as a wrap. Filipino law prohibits wearing “the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform.”
Even if she and her team were unaware of the law, they may still face deportation. Which, I’m guessing for Madonna, is just par for the course during a huge global tour.