Madonna not leaving Portugal, despite run-ins with authorities

Madonna's 2 years living in Portugal has been marked by controversy, leading to talk in March that she would leave.
Madonna's 2 years living in Portugal has been marked by controversy, leading to talk in March that she would leave.PHOTO: AFP

LISBON (AFP) - The movers are not needed for now.

Madonna, who marked the release of her 14th album on Friday (June 14), denied rumours she is looking to leave Portugal, her home of two years.

"I am not going to leave Lisbon," the 60-year-old queen of pop said.

Earlier this month, the United States-born artist said she had initially taken time to settle down after coming to Portugal. That changed when she began forging contacts with local artists who inspired the new album, Madame X, a fusion of musical influences.

Another reason to stay is the fact that David Banda - one of four children she adopted in Malawi - is enrolled at the Benfica football academy.

"My son is still playing at Benfica. I still have a house there and I've been going back and forth - I live in TAP Air Portugal's planes," Madonna told Visao weekly.

Her time in Portugal has been marked by controversy, leading to talk in March that she would leave.

That followed an episode where the city hall in Sintra outside Lisbon did not let her use a horse in a video for song Indian Summer, because vibrations could damage the manor house venue's wooden floor.

Several media said Madonna was furious with what she perceived as a snub.

"I faced pressure from the highest level to let the horse in," Sintra mayor Basilio Horta told Sol weekly.

"We carried out a study to determine the impact" which found "it would have damaged the flooring. So it was impossible to satisfy this demand. She took it badly and was angry", said Mr Horta.

Further controversy came when the Lisbon city council was accused of giving Madonna special treatment by renting her a 15-spot car park in the packed capital.