NFL ups suit against M.I.A. to $16.6 million over Super Bowl gesture

 M.I.A. performs during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Yes, you read that right. The NFL has upped its demands to $16.6 million against musician M.I.A. over her middle finger gesture during the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show.

M.I.A. got herself in trouble after briefly raising her middle finger when she was performing on stage with Madonna during the halftime show. In September 2013, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the NFL had been pursuing arbitration against the Sri Lankan artist for $1.5 million over the incident.

Now, The Hollywood Reporter says, the NFL is upping their suit ten-fold to $16.6 milliion. The league has added an additional $15.1 million claim for restitution based on what advertisers would have paid for Super Bowl commercial time during the two minutes M.I.A. was on stage.

The original suit alleges that M.I.A. actions breached the terms of her performance contract (for which she was not paid) as well as tarnished the league’s reputation.

M.I.A. addressed the latest claim in response papers filed on March 14, saying: The "continued pursuit of this proceeding is transparently an exercise by the NFL intended solely to bully and make an example of Respondents for daring to challenge NFL."

M.I.A.’s attorney, Howard King, in an attempt to undercut the league’s contention that its reputation has been tarnished, has been soliciting information from the public for examples of the NFL’s less-than-wholesome image. There’s even an email address for submissions: NFL@khpblaw.com. 

The full complaint can be read here, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

And, in case you’ve forgotten the infamous performance (WARNING: Video shows the finger in question):