Madonna wants to 'heal the wounds' in dispute over future of son Rocco


Madonna has told a judge that she wants to "heal the wounds" opened in a dispute with ex-husband Guy Ritchie over the future of 15-year-old son Rocco.

A lawyer for the singer told Mr Justice MacDonald that she wanted to end litigation.

Her hopes for the future were revealed at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Friday.


The judge began hearing submissions in the dispute earlier this week.

Rocco and Mr Ritchie had been at the hearing - but not Madonna.

The singer's lawyers told the judge that she wanted to attend but was on tour in Australia.

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

Mr Justice MacDonald heard that Rocco was living with his father in England.

Lawyers told Mr Justice MacDonald 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 he had to decide whether the proceedings launched by Madonna in England should end - or whether he should make decisions on Rocco's welfare.

He finished hearing evidence on Friday and is expected to deliver a ruling in the near future.


Mr Justice MacDonald urged Madonna and Mr Ritchie to try to settle their dispute.

A judge in New York had made a similar plea.

Lawyers told Mr Justice MacDonald that both Madonna and Mr Ritchie had outlined proposals for negotiation.

Madonna proposed that Rocco and Mr Ritchie travel to her home in New York when she ended her current tour to try to "reach a resolution".

Mr Ritchie proposed a "round table" meeting in London involving lawyers.

Members of Madonna's legal team had taken instructions from her after she finished performing in Melbourne on Thursday.

David Williams QC outlined what Madonna had said at the start of Friday's hearing.

"She does not wish for these proceedings in England to continue for any longer than necessary," he told Mr Justice MacDonald.

"She does not wish for the American proceedings to continue for any longer than necessary."

He added: "She views the prospect of further proceedings anywhere ... with horror."


Mr Williams went on: "What she has always wanted to do and still continues to seek to do is to find a way in which this family can get to heal the wounds which have been inflicted on this family over the past four months or so and to chart a course for Rocco and the family which enables them to put this behind them and to restore peace to the family."

He said Madonna did not see the problem in such "simple terms" as Rocco.

She felt the issue was "not just about Rocco" and had said other family members had been "profoundly affected" when Rocco and Mr Ritchie decided that the youngster would stay in London late last year.

Mr Williams said Madonna had another six concert dates and would return home to New York in the near future.

He added: "She really very much hopes that the family can get back together in New York over the Easter vacation and start the process, with all of them involved, in trying to reach a resolution to this problem."

Mr Justice MacDonald was told that Mr Ritchie feared that he might be arrested for being in contempt of an American judge's order to return Rocco to the US.

But Mr Williams said Madonna would not bring contempt proceedings and Mr Ritchie should not fear arrest if he travelled with Rocco to New York.