Nobody knows what is truly going on in the custody battle of Rocco Ritchie, but the mainstream press will have you believe Madonna is the evil “Mommy Dearest'” mother, while Guy Ritchie is the innocent laid-back father. Part of that could be due to Guy Ritchie allegedly leaking bad information about Madonna through his PR executives — something he was accused of doing when they got divorced in 2008.
However, it’s pretty obvious Madonna is playing the PR game as well this time. But Guy Ritchie threw the first shots. Whatever you think of TMZ, their sources are usually accurate. And a couple weeks back, they just happened to get information from a “source” close to guy Ritchie about what a bad mother Madonna is.
“Things deteriorated during the London shows in December. Rocco told his dad he couldn’t handle it anymore… he couldn’t take the traveling and the fights. Our sources say Rocco told Guy he felt like Madonna treated him more like a trophy than a son.”
Then, an article in the New York Post, based mostly on sources from Guy Ritchie, claimed — without any proof whatsoever — that even Lourdes doesn’t want to have anything to do with their mom, despite the fact they are always seen together during Lourdes’ breaks from college.
“Insiders say her two teenagers, Rocco and Lourdes, are fed up with the Material Mom’s mixed messages — and they’re acting out their frustration. They ‘crave stability,’ says a Guy Ritchie source, but their mother’s relentless touring schedule has made that difficult.”
Many people thought that New York Post article went too far. One person who had criticism was Matthew Rettenmund of the popular website Boy Culture.
“What’s dispiriting is the ugly headline. No one has suggested that her kids ‘want nothing to do with her.’ Heartless way to attract clicks. Glad I am not in that part of this business,” Mr. Rettenmund said.
Madonna’s fans said that although they don’t think Madonna is 100 percent innocent in this situation, it’s a low blow for Guy Ritchie’s PR team to allegedly use her daughter, Lourdes, who has had nothing to do with former stepdad Guy Ritchie for several years, to slam Madonna’s parenting skills, especially since she’s already an adult.
Soon, Madonna’s PR team hit the offensive and “sources” close to Madonna explained the “real” reasons for the custody battle to People.
“‘This is far beyond a situation about Rocco – it’s about a situation between Madonna and Guy,’ a friend of the former couple tells PEOPLE of their squabble over their 15-year-old son. ‘They don’t have a good relationship; it’s more of a power fight between them and if he can one-up her. This is the best way he can do it.'”
Then, this morning, Guy Ritchie’s PR team struck back.
“He wants Rocco to have the confidence he lacked growing up and thinks Madonna’s stern parental style is counterproductive. The welfare of Rocco is Guy’s priority,” a source close to Guy Richie told People.
The comments after the article on People were mixed. However, the ones against Madonna seemed to be using misogynistic terms as “whore,” “slut,” and others to demean her as a person and mother. More rational commenters said that Madonna should not try and hold onto her son if he wants to live with his dad; Rocco will just end up resenting her even more. The first date for the custody battle is February 3.
[Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images]