But the one-time lovebirds weren’t only battling over money at the end of their marriage — their children also became the subject of legal wrangles. In 2016, Madonna and Guy Ritchie were involved in a high-profile custody battle over their teenage son Rocco, who at the time refused to return to the U.S. with his mother after visiting the U.K. while on tour with her, opting to stay in the U.K. with Ritchie. Amid reports that the teenager was suffering stress as a result of the dispute, a Manhattan judge urged the parents to resolve the matter privately, though The Daily Beast reported that Madonna was ultimately the loser of the legal challenge.
Per E! News, in 2022, Madonna admitted in a YouTube video in which she answered he fans questions that her marriages, including her one to Ritchie and an earlier marriage to the actor Sean Penn, were not the “best idea,” though she has recently praised the latter in public. Ritchie has only occasionally broken his silence on his marriage to Madonna, describing their time together as a “soap opera,” per E! News. In contrast, Penn has described his continuing affection for the pop icon in an interview on “The Stephen Colbert Show,” saying “I love my first wife very much” (via Entertainment Weekly).