There is a watermark on this image, the cd is in WHITE w/o any logos over it;
Tracks: 1."Give It 2 Me
Where Madonna Does it Better
UK RELEASE DATE: 14TH JULY 2008
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5) OAKENFOLD EXTENDED MIX 7:02
Guy Ritchie's mother last night dismissed speculation that Madonna wants to divorce her son as 'total tosh'.
Lady Amber Leighton said there was 'no conversation about divorce because there is no divorce' and described allegations that couple had spoken to lawyers as 'works of fiction'.
She added: 'It is absolute rubbish, worse than that. Guy will be furious at me talking to you but I feel I can't just let these reports go unanswered as they make me so angry and they are hurtful intrusions into their private lives.
Divorce rumours: Madonna arrives for a Kabbalah service without her wedding ring
'They are no different to most other couples and we all know that being together can be hard sometimes and marriages are not always a bed of roses.
'But like other couples they work at keeping their relationship happy and fresh and they are a close and loving couple who have a family to bring up.'
Mr Ritchie, 39, flew to New York on Friday night to see Madonna and their children after a week of reports that she had asked him for a divorce.
The couple are said to be leading separate lives and it has been stated that a formal announcement of a split has been planned for the end of November after Madonna finishes her world tour.
Total tosh: Guy's mother Lady Amber Leighton has dismissed divorce claims
But at her home near Somerton, Somerset, on Friday, Lady Leighton, 62, said: 'I spoke to Guy this morning, not about divorce but about a new feature film project he has got under way.
'There's no conversation about divorce because there is no divorce.
'Madonna is in New York at the moment finishing off a tour and he will join her there after the weekend.
'That is not a couple splitting up. I'll say it one more time, they are not getting divorced; the speculation is TT – that's total tosh.'
Madonna, 49, who is worth £300million, had been reported to have consulted top divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton, who represented Sir Paul McCartney in his split from Heather Mills.
Mrs Shackleton's office has refused to comment.
Meanwhile Mr Ritchie was said to have had informal talks with family law firm Forsters. But the firm would only say: 'We are not instructed in this matter.'
Guy Ritchie and Madonna are rumoured to be living separate lives
The couple's busy schedules mean they are unlikely to spend much time together this summer.
Madonna and adopted son David attend Friday night prayers at the Kabbalah Centre in Manhattan
Madonna is said to be planning to flit between her homes in New York, Los Angeles and London.
She is also working to promote a world tour on the back of her latest album, Hard Candy, which starts in Europe in August, although ticket sales in America are sluggish.
Mr Ritchie has been editing his new gangster movie RocknRolla, due to be released in September.
Madonna has three children – Lourdes, 11, by former personal trainer Carlos Leon, Mr Ritchie's son Rocco, seven, and David, two, who was adopted from Malawi.
David's natural father Yohane Banda, 33, said he would prefer his son to be raised by Madonna than her husband if they separate.
The farmer, whose second wife is due to give birth to her first child any day, said: 'I would say Madonna because when I was first approached I was told about Madonna wanting to take my son.
'And every time people ask me about my son they say he is now Madonna's child or has been taken by Madonna.
'So I think that if the two separate, my son should go to Madonna.' He said any bid to get his son back was 'out of the question'.source: UK MAIL
For weeks, the state of their marriage has been the subject of febrile gossip and last night Madonna was pictured without her wedding ring fuelling rumours of a split. But what's the truth? Madonna's biographer gives the inside track on the break-up of one of the most high-profile marriages in show business.
Last weekend two friends of Madonna visited her at one of her New York apartments and, during a chat over tea, the subject of her marriage was raised.
'So, how are things going with Guy?' one of the women asked. 'Fine,' Madonna answered, tersely. 'But there have been so many news reports . . .' the friend continued.
Madonna's faced darkened. 'If you think I'm going to discuss this with you now, you're very wrong.'
Scroll down for more
Ringless: Madonna is pictured without her wedding band last night, fuelling rumours that her marriage is over
Madonna and Guy Ritchie: He is known in the media as 'Mr Madonna'
Not dissuaded, the friend continued to push: 'Well, what they're saying is . . .'
Madonna raised both hands, palms out. 'Stop right there,' she warned. 'This subject is off limits. I'm serious.'
With that, the conversation uneasily shifted to the more acceptable topic of Madonna's latest CD, Hard Candy, and her upcoming Sticky And Sweet Tour.
The trouble is, while Madonna may be unwilling to discuss her private life, others have been busy doing it for her.
Stories about the disintegration of her seven-year marriage to filmmaker Guy Ritchie have been circulating for more than a year.
Certainly their recent, very strained, appearance at the Cannes Film Festival did little to convince anyone that they were happy.
But the rumour mill went into overdrive this week, when it was reported that Madonna had been consulting Fiona Shackleton, one of Britain's top divorce lawyers, who famously represented Sir Paul McCartney in his prolonged and bitter separation from Heather Mills.
Guy, meanwhile, is said to have been in discussion with another prestigious law firm, Forsters.
The couple are now said to be 'living as brother and sister rather than husband and wife'.
A formal announcement of their separation, it's rumoured, has only been delayed until Madonna's upcoming tour is completed in Mexico on November 29.
After all the months of speculation, it would seem that the curtain is finally coming down on one of the most high-profile marriages in showbusiness. So what has brought their relationship to crisis point?
As Madonna's biographer, I have spent the past weeks talking to some of her and Guy's closest friends and associates about the reasons for all this fevered speculation.
In doing so, I learned that not only is there real trouble in paradise, but that Madonna is handling the situation in very much the same way she handles everything else - with ruthless professionalism.
'The possibility that they might divorce has been the elephant in the room between Madonna and Guy for at least the last two years,' a friend of the couple's now reveals.
The couple christened their 4-month old son Rocco at Dornoch Cathedral, Scotland in December 2000 one day ahead of their wedding
'Neither of them is shocked about it. They both knew it was coming. Now, for Madonna at least, it's about efficiency. For her, it's just something else on the agenda, a matter to be handled quickly and reasonably.
'Only recently, she told Guy: "You know it's over and I know it's over. So, let's just do it in as civilised a way as we can."
'I think she believed that if there was an understanding between them before the tour began, he wouldn't have as much right to complain about his and the children's lives being turned upside down, as he has done in the past.'
Indeed, Madonna once said that she and Guy 'have been having the same fight for many years'. No doubt, she was referring to the stress her work puts on her family life.
Since the day they married in December, 2000, it's been a difficult tightrope walk as this oh-so driven woman has fervently pursued her career while, at the same time, trying to give her all to her husband and children: Lourdes, 11, Rocco, seven, and newly-adopted David, two, from Malawi.
'Every couple of years, it's the same story,' adds the source. 'She makes a record. She tours to promote it. It causes chaos in their lives. He complains. They fight - a lot. The tour ends. She promises "never again". Two years go by, and then she plans another record and another tour.'
Certainly Madonna is determined to make this latest tour her greatest yet, but she's also trying to formulate a way to keep the family together, at least until it's over.
'It's important to her that the children live as normal a life as possible when they are on the road with her this summer,' another source explains.
'She fears that a big announcement will put them under even more scrutiny. If nothing is said before the tour, she and Guy can then share possession of the children without the Press viewing it as a custody battle.
'Also, Guy can visit her and the kids on the road if he wants to, and it won't cause an avalanche of speculation about a possible reconciliation.'
At the Cannes Film Festival in May, their last public appearance together
So what happened? How did things between them get to this point? Of course, as in most troubled relationships, there are two sides to the story. Guy's position, as put by one of his close friends, is that his wife is an extremely difficult spouse.
'He has taken to describing her with two words, "absolutely impossible", ' says one of Ritchie's friends. 'The world might see her as driven and talented but, as he sees it, she's just never happy with her life, his life, or anyone else's.
'Or, as he once put it to me: "That one's never satisfied and I'm afraid it's going to catch up with her one day.'' '
He has a point. From the moment she started her career more than 20 years ago, Madonna has felt the need to keep exceeding her previous successes.
She must have a record that is bigger than the last one or she'll not be satisfied. She must also have a tour that will sell more tickets than the last one, or she'll feel like a failure.
That's always been the case, and everyone in her life knows it. She's driven. She's ambitious. No surprise there. She is Madonna, after all. But for Guy, it has become intolerable.
'Guy's life became all about managing the day-to-day whirlwind that is his wife's career,' says the source. 'It's always chaos, very distracting and all encompassing.'
Another friend of Guy's painted an even bleaker picture. 'If you were to really look back on his relationship with Madonna, it's been one emasculation after another.
'For instance, he is constantly thought of in the media as 'Mr Madonna' - which upsets him. He knows he's been viewed as little more than her bag holder for a long time. But when Madonna started directing short films a couple of years ago, he felt she had crossed a line.
'Could she not leave one thing for him? She makes music, she makes videos, she writes children's books, she acts, could she not leave the film directing to him?
'All of it just made him look bad in the public eye.'
The adoption of David Banda was a particularly testing time. The process certainly did not sound like an equal decision for the Ritchies - and in many ways it wasn't.
In fact, Madonna found the baby in Malawi, felt a connection, and then
convinced Guy they should adopt him.
With David Banda and daughter Lourdes in Malawi. Madonna convinced Guy they should adopt David
Guy didn't fight it, but it also wasn't his idea and the media sensed it, only adding to his sense of powerlessness. 'Suddenly, they had three children,' observed a source, 'and it looked like he had nothing to say about any of it. In terms of the public's perception of him, it was a bad turn.'
Such negative perceptions have had an inevitable effect on Ritchie's career. His biggest success, Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, was back in 1998, before he even met Madonna.
Since their marriage, it's been one career disappointment after another with only one movie, Snatch, catching on in 2000, the year they married. He's lately been putting the finishing touches on a new film, RocknRolla, but who knows how that will turn out for him?
'In a director's life - even more so than in an actor's - perception is everything,' explained one industry insider. 'That's because these perceptions are fostered and held by film executives, and they want their directors to be famous for one thing: directing.
'Guy is famous for something else, entirely, being Madonna's husband, and that hasn't helped him, at all. Any time a film studio decides to green light a project, it's putting tens of millions of dollars behind it.
'However, many movie executives haven't wanted to take the risk of finding out whether or not Guy is just "Mr Madonna" or still a decent director. As a result, important projects in recent years haven't got off the ground for him.'
For her part, Madonna feels that Guy has, in certain ways, crumbled in recent years. 'He has not been there for her,' says one of Madonna's friends.
'She gives a lot. She works hard. And he just hasn't been that supportive lately. So, yes, they have had some blazing rows. They are passionate people and they fight hard.
'For instance, it galls Madonna that she gives Guy career advice all the time and he never, ever takes it. She truly believes she is a genius in business, and many people might agree.
However, because of his pride, Guy handles his career his way, and maybe not to his advantage.'
The latest CD: Madonna has fervently pursued her career during the seven-year marriage
Another of Guy's friends describes his marriage to Madonna as having been a 'golden handcuffs' situation for him. When he met Madonna in 1998, he still had a steady income. However, with the passing of the years, that income dried up while his style of living was enhanced, ten-fold.
'The marriage soon presented a very complex power differential,' the source maintains. 'Being an Englishmen from a very conventional family, Guy has a traditional concept of a man and woman's role in a relationship, and that just hasn't added up in his day-to-day with Madonna. I think he's felt trapped and hasn't known how to proceed.
'Clearly, Madonna is the one holding all the cards. She's the one with the big guns when it comes to any type of negotiation.
'He's smart, though. He waited it out until even she had to admit that the marriage was over. Maybe he felt she would be fairer if it was her idea rather than his.
'All I know is that when she finally came to him recently and said: "Look it's over." He was relieved.'
This brings us to an unpleasant subject: the spoils of another high profile, show business divorce.
Madonna's finances are, at this point, difficult to ascertain. Certainly, many hundreds of millions are at stake, much of which has been earned in the past seven years.
Last year alone she signed a $100million deal with concert promotion company Live Nation, not just for shows and tour merchandising but also for future recordings. It's one of the biggest contracts in the history of the entertainment business.
Reports have suggested that she may now have to give up as much as half of her recent fortune to pay Guy off, since the couple are thought not to have a pre-nuptial agreement.
However, some of Madonna's friends find this assumption implausible. One told me: 'If you think she would marry Guy without a pre-nup, you don't know her very well, do you? She thinks of everything.' Maybe not this time, though.
Another source very close to the entertainer put it to me like this: 'A huge problem with people's perception of Madonna is that she is thought of as a cold-hearted business woman at the expense of everything else in her life. However, she does not view her personal life as a business.
Reports claim Madonna has hired divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton, pictured with Paul McCartney who she represented in his recent divorce battle
'She wanted a healthy marriage and children from the time she was about 35, a goal separate and apart from her career. When she met Guy, she was following her heart. She felt she hit the lottery with him.
'She believed the marriage would last for ever. She couldn't imagine reaching into her purse and pulling out a contract for him to sign. No way. She loved him too much. So, I'm sure there is no pre-nup.
'In that respect, she could have a big problem ahead of her. He may be entitled to quite a lot of money. Yes, this whole thing could be very expensive for her.'
At this point, though, losing a vast chunk of her fortune is not at the forefront of Madonna's mind. She is simply moving on with her life as best she can, setting up a home in one of her New York apartments and making plans to relocate there permanently.
She and Guy have already agreed they will share custody of their three children, say their friends, though of course, any such plans continue to be vehemently denied by her representatives.
In fact, according to reliable sources, by this time next year, the Ritchies will be divorced.
And as she prepares to turn 50 this August, she is facing up the harsh reality that she will be spending the years ahead alone, raising three children in a big, American metropolis.
It was Guy who had warned: 'That one's never satisfied . . . it's going to catch up with her one day.'Now it looks like that day has finally come.
After seven years, it's all over for Madonna (49) and Guy Ritchie (39). The singer told her husband: "I'm sorry, but I want a divorce."
"It was pretty painless, but it's still sad," said a friend of the Queen of Pop. Ritchie has gone out to the country to have a few days of peace. "I don't think anyone can begrudge him the fact that he feels a little down..."
The couple have already hired their divorce lawyers to sort out the financial side of the split.
A pre-nuptial agreement they signed before their wedding in 2000 states that Guy was to be given 63 million euros in the event of a divorce, about a sixth of Madonna's 300 million pound fortune. However, the director is set to turn down the money: "It's not Guy's style to try and profit from something sad like this. He has too much respect for his wife and kids."
Finally, a divorce without drama!
source: BILD. GERMANY
By Diane Herbst
Originally posted Saturday June 28, 2008 09:00 AM EDT
Madonna told Guy Ritchie she wants a divorce after the couple agreed they had fallen out of love.
They admitted to each other that their seven-year marriage was doomed because they had simply drifted apart.
A friend said last night: "They were both very calm. Madonna told Guy: 'I'm sorry, I want a divorce'. And he agreed. It was quite painless but very sad."
Last night Guy was holed up alone in his country mansion last night hoping against the odds that he can rescue his doomed marriage to Madonna.
Guy, 39, reluctantly agreed to 49-year-old Madge's request for a divorce to end their turbulent relationship.
But friends said he still nurtures the dream that the final break can be avoided.
One disclosed: "He's a bit down in the dumps, and who can blame him. He's off to the country to get a bit of peace and quiet."
Both parties have now talked to divorce lawyers to ensure that the break-up is orderly and as amicable as possible.
Without a pre-nuptial agreement, Guy could be looking at up to £50million of Madge's £300million fortune.
Friends insist the movie director is unlikely to wage a court battle for more of the star's millions. The couple have already made the welfare of their children - Lourdes, 11, Rocco, seven, and adopted David, two - their top priority.
One source said: "Guy is a decent bloke, full stop. It's not his style to start profiteering from such sorry circumstances. He's got too much respect for his wife and children."
Guy has taken informal legal advice from Forsters, a top London firm specialising in divorce and family matters.
The person tipped to represent him is Ann Northover, who heads the company's family division. She said: "I can only say that I have no involvement at the moment."
Madonna has hired Fiona "Steel Magnolia" Shackleton who handled Paul McCartney's split from Heather Mills.
The singer is currently in New York with the children.
But Guy has no plans to join her, preferring the seclusion of their £10million Ashcombe estate in Wilts.
The couple, who have had problems for a year, have been leading increasingly separate lives. They were even living in separate parts of their London pad.
Friends admitted the fiery relationship had become too difficult for both.
One said: "They both got tired of the fighting. It's like two prize-fighters slugging it out. Finally, they became exhausted."
Madonna and the concert promoter Live Nation Inc have announced a deal that will give the company an all-encompassing stake in the music of the Material Girl.
The deal is worth about £60million over 10 years.
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour has so far grossed more than £35million in sales for 13 dates in Europe.
It has also reportedly piled up US sellouts.
A spokeswoman for the star said: "We have no comment."
What they've got..
THE CHAIN OF PROPERTIES
£7MILLION family townhouse in Marylebone, London, and a 10-bedroom, £6million property next door.
TWO mews cottages at £2million each, also in Marylebone.
TWO properties used by the Kabbalah religious sect - a £3.6m building in the West End used as its headquarters and a £1.6m five-storey townhouse in Regent's Park.
£10MILLION Ashcombe House estate in Wiltshire, consisting of 1,200 acres.
£8MILLION, 10-bedroom house in Beverly Hills, California.
£2MILLION duplex apartment in New York, which overlooks Manhattan's Central Park.
AN adjoining apartment in the block next door - also valued at £2million.
THE FLEET OF CARS
A STRING of vehicles which includes a £47,000 Audi Q7 4x4, a £58,000 Range Rover 4.2 V8 and a £35,000 Mercedes Benz Viano people carrier for school runs.
THE EARNING POWER
£60MILLION deal struck with the Live Nation entertainment group last year for touring and album rights.
£30MILLION estimated from Sticky and Sweet Time tour later this year,
£50MILLION - the money from her previous Confessions Tour.
£100 million - her worldwide album sales since 1982.
£10MILLION from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels film (below), which he wrote and directed.
£5MILLION from his follow-up Snatch
£5MILLION projected earnings from new Rockn Rolla movie.
WE'RE MADGE BETTER
The mirror's coverage of Madonna and Guy's marriage crisis has left our rivals trailing.
On Tuesday, we revealed the couple were discussing a split after seven years together, told how they led separate lives and that an announcement was due at the end of Madonna's tour.
Next day, came our bombshell that Madonna had lined up top divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton. And in the weeks ahead? Watch this space..
"Guy has turned his back on Kabbalah once and for all. He has gone hot and cold on the religion in the past, but now he's given up on it altogether. It has always been her (Madonna) thing and is more a part of her life than ever," said a source close to the couple.
"Guy threw himself into it at first and even filled his movie 'Revolver' with obscure references to the faith. He was genuinely into it and it helped the bond between them. But then he backtracked a little with his gestures of public backing, like wearing the bracelet, because he didn't like being such a high-profile follower.
"He also became suspicious of all the Kabbalah crowd living off her money. But he always told Madonna he had kept his faith, until now. A few weeks ago he told her he doesn't want anything else to do with it. It didn't go down well."