Madonna has published a new "manifesto" defending the violence and gun imagery featured in her latest world tour.
The pop superstar has repeatedly courted controversy throughout her ongoing Mdna trek, brandishing fake machine guns onstage, displaying swastika symbols and even exposing her nipples.
But in a new free-verse message, released by Billboard.com, the Material Girl remains adamant that she does not condone violence and insists her headline-grabbing antics were conceived as entertainment.
Madonna's note begins, "My show is a journey... it is part cinematic musical theatre, part spectacle and sometimes intimate performance art... When you watch a film there are usually good guys and bad guys to help illustrate this point. Sometimes I play both."
She adds, "It's true there is a lot of violence in the beginning of the show and sometimes the use of fake guns - but they are used as metaphors. I do not condone violence or the use of guns. Rather they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging.
"In my case its (sic) wanting to stop the lies and hypocrisy of the church, the intolerance of many narrow minded cultures and societies I have experienced throughout my life and in some cases the pain I have felt from having my heart broken."