Thursday 29 September 2016

Madonna and Guy Ritchie resolve bitter custody dispute over son Rocco

Eleanor Bley Griffiths

Published 07/09/2016 | 17:23

Madonna and Rocco (left) and with his father Guy Ritchie (right)
Madonna and Rocco (left) and with his father Guy Ritchie (right)
Madonna and Guy Ritchie with their children, Lourdes and Rocco, in happier times back in 2008. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Madonna and Guy Ritchie have resolved their bitter custody dispute over their teenage son, Rocco.

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Court spokesman Lucian Chalfen confirmed in New York on Wednesday that the divorced singer and film-maker had reached a settlement, although the details have not been released.

The dispute began after Rocco, 16, remained in London with his father after visiting the UK on Madonna's world tour.

He refused to return to the US with his mother for Christmas.

Madonna and Ritchie took the battle to the courts, opening litigation in New York and London.

In December a judge ruled that Rocco should be returned to his mother's custody, but decided not to issue a warrant to enforce the order. Rocco has since remained in London with his father and enrolled in a school in the capital.

During a hearing in Manhattan, State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kaplan earlier implored Madonna, 58, and Ritchie, 47, to settle the matter privately.

"No one is disrupting his household other than the inability of the parents to reach a resolution," Ms Kaplan said. "If they cannot resolve this matter then eventually the court will."

Ellen Sigal, a court-appointed lawyer for Rocco, said in March that the dispute was causing the teenager stress.

"It's been a very difficult time for him," she said in court. "We hope to put an end to this as soon as possible without exposing him to more litigation, press innuendo, any of that kind of thing."

Ritchie and Madonna divorced in 2008. They also have a 10-year-old son David, who they adopted from Malawi.

The Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director has now remarried, tying the knot with model Jacqui Ainsley last year. They have three children together.

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