Madonna wants to 'restore peace' in custody row


LONDON • Madonna wants to heal the wounds in her family caused by a dispute with her ex-husband, British film director Guy Ritchie, over custody of their 15-year-old son Rocco, her lawyers told the English High Court.

The American singer's lawyer told judge Alistair MacDonald that she wanted to end the court battle being fought in London and New York.

Judge MacDonald finished hearing evidence last Friday and now has to decide whether the proceedings in the English High Court should close or if he should make decisions about Rocco's welfare.

A New York judge in December asked Ritchie to send Rocco back to the United States, after the teenager decided to move to London rather than stay in his mother's home or accompany her on tour.

Ritchie has attended the London court hearings, though Madonna has been singing in Australia and New Zealand.

"What she has always wanted to do... is to find a way in which this family can get to heal the wounds which have been inflicted on this family over the past four months," said Madonna's lawyer David Williams.

She wants to "chart a course for Rocco and the family which enables them to put this behind them and to restore peace to the family", he said, adding that the singer wants them to meet in New York during Easter.

Ritchie's lawyer Alex Verdan said the director had proposed a meeting in London as the pair had not been in the "same place at the same time" since the dispute began.

Earlier last week, judge MacDonald said few details could be revealed about the hearings, but relaxed his restrictions following an application from two British newspaper publishers.

Madonna, 57, and Ritchie, 47, split up in 2008 after eight years of marriage.

The pop icon touched on the custody battle in a concert on March 6 in Auckland, where she dedicated Edith Piaf's signature song La Vie En Rose to the 15-year-old.

"There is no love stronger than a mother for her son," she said tearfully before singing the song. "I hope he hears this somewhere and knows how much I miss him."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Madonna wants to 'restore peace' in custody row'. Print Edition | Subscribe