Home / Arts & Entertainment / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Madonna, Ritchie granted preliminary divorce
Adjust font size:

After the wedding in a Scottish castle, the mansion on a green English estate and the drinks in their own pub, Madonna and Guy Ritchie's eight-year marriage ended in a dreary London courtroom.

In this Sept. 1, 2008 file photo, British director Guy Ritchie, left, and his wife Madonna arrive for the world premiere of his film 'Rock n Rolla' in London. A court schedule says Madonna and Guy Ritchie will be granted the first stage of their divorce in London Friday, Nov. 21, 2008.  [AP]

The case of "Ciccone M.L. v Ritchie G.S." was one of 17 divorce decrees granted by Judge Caroline Reid during a hearing Friday in a harshly lit London court that was over in a few minutes.

There was no legal obligation for 50-year-old Madonna or Guy Ritchie, 40, to attend the hearing at which they were granted a decree nisi, the first of two stages of divorce. There was no sign of the couple and the room was filled instead with journalists tracking the dying days of an A-list celebrity romance. The divorce can become final after six weeks and a day with the granting of a decree absolute.

Court papers signed by Madonna in Los Angeles confirmed that the queen of pop petitioned for divorce on the basis of Ritchie's "unreasonable behavior," and that there is no need to apply family law in the case — meaning that the couple have reached their own agreements over their assets and children.

Madonna and Ritchie have two children, Rocco, 8, and David Banda, 3, who was adopted from Malawi in 2006. The singer has a 12-year-old daughter Lourdes, from a previous relationship with personal trainer Carlos Leon.

The couple own homes in southwest England, London, Los Angeles and New York.

Madonna and Ritchie appear to have avoided an expensive courtroom battle like the one between former Beatle Paul McCartney and model Heather Mills. Mills has said media coverage of the rancorous divorce had pushed her to the brink of suicide; McCartney compared the process to going through hell.

"Most couples do manage to do what Madonna and Guy Ritchie have done, and sort out issues of assets and children among themselves," said David Allison, a lawyer with London firm Family Law in Partnership. "If they can't it has to go before a judge at a final hearing and the whole process can go on for a year and be very messy."

Madonna and Ritchie, director of "Snatch," "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "RockNRolla," married in December 2000 in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony at Skibo Castle in the Scottish Highlands attended by Sting, Gwyneth Paltrow, Donatella Versace and Stella McCartney.

Madonna — "Madge" to the British press — and her filmmaker husband soon became rich tabloid fodder in England, where they lived. The pop star seemed to take to English life, spending much of her time at the couple's 1,200-acre (480 hectare) country estate in southwest England, and to some ears, adopting a slight British accent. Ritchie bought a share in a pub — The Punchbowl in west London's exclusive Mayfair neighborhood — and Madonna took up a second career, writing a series of children's books called "The English Roses."

But in recent years, reports began to accumulate that they were on the rocks. Over the summer, Madonna was linked — unfairly, she said — to the breakup of New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez and his ex-wife Cynthia.

Last month, as Madonna was in the middle of her ongoing "Sticky and Sweet" world tour, the couple announced they were divorcing and the English idyll drew to a close.

Requests for comment from representatives for the couple were not returned.

(Associated Press November 22, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
A Western media myth (II)
How an NGO worked together with the Western media to create an Olympic myth that passed into the realm of "established fact".
Related >>
- Madonna's Britney warning
- Gwyneth Paltrow talks Madonna, spotted with A-Rod
- Madonna's Gwyneth wish
- Madonna orchestrates a Britney-Justin reunion
- Madonna tries to control Guy with contract
- Guy Ritchie's Madonna movie
- Guy Ritchie's Madonna attack
- Paltrow: I'm helping Madonna over split
- Madonna's ugly divorce
Most Read >>
- Sexy girls at the Olympic Games
- Grand opening of US$1.5b Atlantis hotel in Dubai
- GQ magazine 'Men of the Year' party
- Bahrain prince sues Michael Jackson
- Hsu Chi: sexy baby in summer
- International Forum on the Daodejing
- Experience China in South Africa
- Zheng He: 600 Years On
- Three Gorges: Journey Through Time
- Famous Bells in China