Why Madonna Once Sent an Actor Her Spit in a Champagne Bottle

People pay plenty of money to own celebrity memorabilia, but one actor got to own Madonna’s spit for free. Madonna’s life has inspired intense scrutiny but here’s an episode from the height of her fame which doesn’t seem to get much attention. This is the story behind the movie which inspired Madonna to send someone her own saliva in a bottle.

Three champagne bottles in a row
Champagne bottles | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

The comedian who called Madonna ‘the weirdest person alive’

The 1990s saw the release of the quintessential Madonna movie: Madonna: Truth or Dare. The documentary gave fans a glimpse into Madonna’s live shows, personal life, and work ethic. Comedian Julie Brown was not impressed.

”She strikes me as the weirdest person alive,” Brown told The Village Voice. “Could you stand to be ‘on’ that much?” Brown starred in a parody of Truth or Dare titled Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful. The film mocked the Queen of Pop’s risque public image as well as her perceived unoriginality.

A scene from Madonna: Truth or Dare

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It also parodied a controversial scene from Truth or Dare where Madonna visited her mother’s grave, lied down on the ground by it, and put her arm around it. In Medusa, the title character visited the grave of her dead dog only to realize she’s at the wrong grave.

How did Madonna react to this? “At first I heard she really liked it,” Brown recalled. “Then I heard she didn’t like the scene where I rolled around on my dog’s grave. She’d rolled around on her mother’s — like that wasn’t offensive enough?”

Julie Brown sitting next to Jay Leno's desk
Julie Brown with Jay Leno | Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

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How the Queen of Pop and others responded to ‘Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful’

According to the book Assault of the Killer B’s: Interviews with 20 Cult Film Actresses, Medusa inspired the Queen of Pop to send Brown a present: a bottle of champagne. It was warm and half-drunk. Brown wasn’t sure how to react to this. Was Madonna being mean to her or complimenting her?

Of course, it’s easy to see Madonna’s gift as an insult considering the little surprise it contained. “It was really expensive champagne,” said Brown, “but it had Madonna spit in it!” Regardless, Brown drank the champagne. She later wished she kept the bottle because she could have sold it on eBay. 

Madonna wearing a white dress
Madonna | Dirck Halstead/Liaison

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Aside from the gift she received from the Queen of Pop, Brown received lots of feedback for Medusa. She said it was very positive, with a number of magazines praising the film. “I made the most money on [the show] The Edge and producing the TV show Clueless, which was a lot of fun, but I think people like Medusa the most. … People still talk to me more about that one movie than anything else I’ve done.” Fans might have liked Medusa but the Queen of Pop certainly had a unique reaction to it.