Madonna and Guy Ritchie legal case overseen by High Court judge


A High Court judge is continuing to analyse issues in a legal fight involving Madonna and her ex-husband Guy Ritchie.

Mr Justice MacDonald began to oversee the dispute - which relates to the future of the pair's 15-year-old son Rocco - at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Thursday.

Mr Justice MacDonald is due to hear more legal submissions from lawyers representing Madonna, Mr Ritchie and Rocco on Friday.

Madonna was not at Thursday's hearing.

The judge heard that she was on tour in Australia.

Rocco, Mr Ritchie and his wife Jacqui were at the hearing.

"The mother remains on tour," David Williams QC, for Madonna, told the judge.

"She would very much wish to be here."

Reports said Madonna - who is in Australia as part of her Rebel Heart Tour - appeared at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne dressed as a clown.

She was performing at a one-off gig called Tears Of A Clown - riding a child's tricycle onto the stage and singing Stephen Sondheim's Send In The Clowns, the Independent reported.

Mr Justice MacDonald said the fact that the hearing was taking place could be reported - and the parties could be named - but he said little detail could be publicised.

He had already considered a number of legal issues at a hearing last week.

Similar hearings have taken place in New York following the launch of family court litigation in America.

A judge in New York has heard that Rocco is living with his father in England.

Lawyers told Mr Justice MacDonald at last week's hearing that Madonna wanted the teenager to return to live with her in the US and had issued an application in England under an international legal convention.

They said the singer now wanted to withdraw that application and bring the legal proceedings launched in England to a close.

The judge said last week that he had to decide whether the proceedings launched by Madonna in England should end - or whether he should make decisions on Rocco's welfare.

A judge in New York is analysing issues relating to the custody of Rocco - and those proceedings have already been widely reported in the media.