In a new interview with Huck Magazine, M.I.A. opened up about the exorbitant $16.6 million lawsuit the NFL slapped her with after her performance at Super Bowl XLVI. According to M.I.A., her then-manager Jay-Z suggested she sign off on a lawsuit designed to keep her penniless:
If you’re talking about racism and sexism, [the lawsuit] showed the cracks in everyone I knew. I was at Roc Nation at the time and Jay Z was managing me. The lawsuit was so ridiculous, it proposed that they would keep one hundred percent of my earnings for the rest of my life if I ever earned more than $2 million dollars. Jay Z was, like, ‘you should sign that shit’ and I was, like, ‘no.’
A year after M.I.A. flipped the camera off during her verse in Madonna’s halftime show performance of “Give Me All Your Luvin,'” the NFL filed a $1.5 million arbitration claim against the singer. In March 2014, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the NFL added another $15 million to its claim, making the total close to $16.6 million, prompting M.I.A. to ask Madonna for $16 million via Twitter.
M.I.A. went on to say she is “completely over the whole incident,” but still feels lingering frustration over the controversy. “A middle finger, it’s like get a fucking grip,” she said.