Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Israeli Reality TV Dude Gets 14 Months for Hacking Madonna Songs

A former contestant in Israel’s version of “American Idol” was jailed for 14 months on Thursday for selling demo tracks he stole from Madonna’s latest album by hacking into the email and cloud accounts of people close to the singer.

Under a plea bargain at Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, Adi Lederman confessed to computer trespassing and infringement of privacy and property rights in connection with the offenses, committed last year. He was also fined 15,000 shekels ($4,000).

According to court papers, Lederman sold demo tracks from Madonna’s album “Rebel Heart” to two buyers at $300 each, having copied the files from cloud accounts whose passwords he obtained after hacking email servers used by her musical director Kevin Antunes, talent manager Guy Oseary and two other people.

Lederman also obtained parts of Madonna’s work diary.

“The ease with which crimes such as this can be committed by those who have skills in the field, such as the accused, require an appropriate punitive response that has a deterrent and uncompromising message,” the court said in a statement.

Arguing for leniency, Lederman’s lawyer told the court that his client was “not someone with a criminal mentality, but rather, a very fired-up and impassioned collector who went too far.” Lederman had health problems, said the lawyer, declining to detail these for the court record out of privacy concerns.

Lederman, 39, was arrested in January after an investigation assisted by the FBI. Unfinished tracks from “Rebel Heart” had leaked online a month earlier.

Madonna has said the crime was an “invasion into my life – creatively, professionally and personally (that) remains a deeply devastating and hurtful experience.”

Lederman previously made a brief appearance on “A Star Is Born,” Israel’s version of “American Idol,” before being voted off.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.