Madonna Wants to Settle Custody Battle
Madonna has vowed to negotiate with Guy Ritchie to put an end to their bitter custody battle over teenage son Rocco. The pop superstar launched legal action in both the U.K. and New York after the 15-year-old refused to return home to her in the Big Apple following a stay with his London-based father in December.
She has since moved to withdraw her petition, which was filed under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction and sought to have a judge order ex-husband Ritchie to send Rocco back to the U.S. Instead, she wants to focus her efforts on pursuing the case in Manhattan. A preliminary hearing over Madonna’s request to drop the action was held in London’s High Court last week, and when the case resumed in the British capital on Thursday, Justice Alistair MacDonald banned detailed reporting of the proceedings to protect Rocco’s privacy. However, in a private follow-up hearing on Friday, the judge decided to allow other information to be reported in the press, noting the intense public scrutiny was “unfortunate,” but as he had been in attendance at both hearings, nothing surfacing in the media would come as a surprise to him. During Friday’s proceedings, Madonna’s attorney, David Williams QC, insisted his client was willing to relent in her custody fight and listen to what the teen wants, reports the Daily Mail. “They need to trust each other and she hoped this will reassure Rocco that what she wants and has always wanted is the best for him,” Williams explained. “There may be differences between them but she wants to work with him and Guy. That is what she wants. It is her hope to resolve matters for her family.” It was also revealed that Rocco had planned to join his dad and his new family on an Easter vacation to the Maldives, after which Madonna requested the father and son head to New York to resolve the custody matter there. Justice MacDonald reserved judgment on the request to drop the London legal action, but is expected to deliver his verdict next week. A New York judge has already urged the two sides to find an amicable solution for the sake of Rocco. That case was adjourned until June 1. Meanwhile, Madonna, who is on tour in Australia, has been expressing her heartache during her shows. In a special set in Melbourne on Thursday night, she dedicated the track “Intervention” to her boy. As an image of Rocco as a toddler flashed up on the screen behind her, Madonna struggled to control her emotions as she told her fans, “Everybody knows the saga of me and my son Rocco. It’s not a fun story to tell or think about. I probably would have enjoyed myself a bit more on this tour if he hadn’t have disappeared so suddenly. I’m going to dedicate this song to him.”