Madonna’s brother has written a tell all book about his superstar sister. Here he explains why he thinks Madonna and Guy’s marriage is actually happy, how he thinks Madge has had surgery and why Madonna has cancelled Christmas forever.
Despite writing a tell all book revealing the problems within Madonna’s marriage to Guy Ritchie and the singers obsession with Kaballah, her brother Christopher Ciccone still thinks that one day the pair will be friends again.
For now, the book is causing deep family problems – with Madonna desperate to get all her close family members to cut him out of their lives. He reveals: “The situation now is that it’s at its ugliest point. I feel terrible for my father. This is an unintended consequence. Madonna’s asked my father to choose between me or her. He wouldn’t do that and he told her.
“I always reassured him that I wasn’t tearing up the family. I have every right to tell my side of things. I was disappointed that she thought I was going to set out to ruin her. Of course I wasn’t. She obviously doesn’t know me as well as I thought she did. She certainly does now.”
As a huge Madonna fan I was hoping I’d dislike Christopher for selling out his own flesh and blood in this book. But I left the interview feeling like I slightly understood his reasons for dishing the dirt on Madge. He’s obviously had enough of being in his sister’s shadow.
Chris, who’s worked as the artistic director on two of Madonna’s world tours, has absolutely no regrets on writing the book because he says it’s all from his perspective – and believes they will be friends again one day. But for now the pair are at war. He says: “Our last contact was about four weeks ago. We had an email exchange. I got a command email saying: “Call me.” I don’t respond to those ‘commands’ anymore.
“It’s possible I’ve shut the door forever, but that door was not ever really open to begin with. She was always here on this level and everyone else is down here – as they all are. That’s not a way to have a relationship. I’m sure she’s read it. I’d be surprised if she hadn’t. I would if I were her. You get to look behind the curtain and see how we were living. I have nothing to be guilty over with this book – but it’s unlikely I’m going to go for tea at the country house next Sunday!”
“Look, if I had torn her apart and written this from a negative perspective then fine I’d be guilty – but with this book as it is, I’m fine.”
Christopher is very vocal about one thing throughout our time together – the fact he doesn’t approve of Madonna’s current husband of seven years Guy Ritchie.
“Our relationship to breakdown after Guy arrived,” he says. “I think for us to be friends again Guy’s attitude has to change. He needs to deal with whatever his problems are. All I can tell you is that he has issues. I think the combination Madonna and mine’s closeness and the fact I was gay made it worse. Like I say in the book, I have never interfered in her relationship. I think everybody knew I had an issue with Guy on the inner circle. I don’t think the Guy thing will upset her. I think the thing that will upset her is that I’ve made her human for everyone to read about. Any revelation is about how I was feeling or felt – not about her.”
And although he hasn’t been in close contact with Madonna for close to a decade he insists that Madonna’s marriage to Guy remains strong. He also thinks rumours that his sister had an affair with baseball player Alex Rodriguez are “completely ridiculous”. He says: “The divorce rumours will continue to go on and on until they do divorce. I believe they got married because they were in love with each other. As far as I know they still are. There’s so much speculation.”
But he does think that one of the rumoured arguments between the famous couple, over Madonna wanting to move back to New York, could have an element of truth to it. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she wanted to go back to New York. She’s never been a real country girl at all,” he laughs.
Christopher also hopes that the book doesn’t mean he’ll be cut off by mutual friends like film star Gwyneth Paltrow. He smiles: “Yes, as far as I know the last time I checked me and Gwyneth were still friends. I’m sure Madonna’s put out to everyone about the book. I suppose at least I get to work out my real friends. On the plus side I’m pleased people are not coming to me for concert tickets anymore. That’s a welcome relief.”
I ask him for his fondest and worst memory of his superstar sister. He immediately says: “I think when she opened at Wembley Stadium for the Girlie Show. It was a show that I’d never been more proud of as I directed it and we were underneath the stage waiting for her to go on. The lights came up and it was just me and her.
“I think the worst was the graveyard scene in In Bed with Madonna –when she lay on our mother’s grave for the cameras to film. It left a very deep mark with me. There aren’t that many things in my life that I consider sacred but she crossed that line. With the cameras rolling and they are saying you do this, you do that. And then they wanted me to do that too lying next to the grave with her. There was no fucking way I was going to do that. She didn’t even realise it was an issue or a problem.”
Christopher, who’s only met Madonna’s daughter Lourdes a few times when she was a baby and never met Madonna’s son Rocco or adopted child David, laughs as he tells another intimate story about his sister. “She literally walked in one day a few years back after she’d started studying Kaballah and said Christmas wasn’t happening,” he giggles. “We dubbed it our first non-Christmas. She literally wiped it out and announced she wasn’t celebrating it anymore and there wouldn’t be any presents. No tree and no decorations. None of that. We could have birthday presents – but Christmas was cancelled.”
The star’s brother, who has studied Kaballah himself for the past few years, is highly complimentary of her stage presence and thinks she could continue performing into her 70s thanks to the way she works out. He adds: “I hope her performing evolves into something appropriate. I might be kind of funny if she was crotch grabbing at 70. There is a way for her to tour until she was old. I’d say she would need to tour with a great director and listen to them properly.”
Chris also reveals that the star has only just found time in her busy life to start tinkering with plastic surgery. “She hadn’t had any surgery when I was with her after Lola was born,” he says. “She’s obviously had something done now. It’s a little extreme for me but each to their own. I can see she wants to try and stay younger. She knows that she’s permanently being documented and it’s hard for her to keep her looks like anybody else.
“She was never really worried about staying youthful ten years ago. It wasn’t something she really worried about. We are all lucky – we don’t have to look at the progression of our age in the newspapers. But she obviously does.”