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France's National Front to sue Madonna over swastika video

PARIS, France - The far-right National Front said Sunday, July 15, that it plans to sue Madonna over a video at the pop star's concert in France showing party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead.

"We cannot accept such an odious comparison," National Front vice-president Florian Philippot said, adding that the legal action against Madonna would be filed this week.

The video, which served as a backdrop for Madonna's performance of the song "Nobody Knows Me", flashed a picture of Le Pen's forehead superimposed with a swastika, followed by an image resembling Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

There was a gasp from the audience at the Stade de France on Saturday when the image of Le Pen appeared briefly on a giant screen in a video which also showed Madonna's face merging with a number of public figures including Pope Benedict XVI and toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

"A civil complaint for insult will be lodged with the court in Bobigny (northeast Paris)," Philippot told AFP.

Tour promoter LiveNation declined to comment on the National Front action.

Le Pen, a French presidential candidate, had already warned the US superstar she was mulling legal action after the video was shown at Tel Aviv gig in May when Madonna, 53, kicked off her world tour.

"This is just another provocation in Madonna's world tour so that people will talk about her," Philippot charged, claiming that the stadium was "far from full" for Madonna's gig and that the tour was a "fiasco".

"Marine Le Pen will defend not only her own honor but her supporters and the millions of National Front voters," he added.

The "Material Girl" will next appear in France in Nice on August 21 as part of her "MDNA" tour which covers about 30 countries in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas and will wrap up in Australia in 2013.

Le Pen, the 43-year-old daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, won 18 percent in the first round of the presidential election in April.

But she lost her bid to win a seat in legislative elections last month although the party -- which wants to ditch the euro and battles against what Le Pen calls the "Islamisation" of France -- returned to parliament for the first time since 1998. - Agence France-Presse