NEW YORK (AFP) - Jury service can be an arduous, nerve-wracking duty for many American citizens, but when you're Madonna, it's a two-hour wait before being sent home as a "distraction."
The pop icon turned up at the New York Supreme Court on Monday, accompanied by her own beefy bodyguards, after being summoned to jury duty along with hundreds of ordinary New Yorkers.
She arrived at 10 am (local time) - an hour later than everyone else - and was relieved of her civic responsibility after officials decided that her superstar celebrity was a hindrance rather than a help.
"She got a jury summons and she came to do jury duty and I think that in itself is a good thing," New York courts spokesman David Bookstaver told AFP. "It says to everyone that everyone gets called, and when you get called you have to show up."
The pop star posted a picture from the court house on instagram with the caption "Serving my country! Reporting to jury selection! #itshotinhere," raking up more than 21,700 likes.
She was photographed by New York Daily News walking up the steps of the imposing court building dressed in a black pant suit, a patterned scarf and her eyes shielded by large dark glasses.
Gawking onlookers snapped her picture on their cell phones as she was later escorted down the steps and ushered into a waiting black SUV, which quickly sped off. Bookstaver said it was the right decision to send her home and defended her late arrival for the court's convenience.
"We had a more than sufficient number of jurors so we did not need to distract the other jurors or interrupt the court process and we held her aside," he said. "We made sure we didn't need any additional jurors and when we made sure, we released her."
Madonna got out of her previous jury summons with a doctor's note but will likely be called again in six years' time.