Some thing had to give

THE GOSSIPS AT Cannes were agog this spring at the news that Madonna had installed twin treadmills in her hotel suite, apparently so she and Guy Ritchie could work out side by side.

By (Daily Mail)

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Published: Sun 19 Oct 2008, 9:11 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:44 PM

Things in the world's most talked-about marriage, it was reasoned, must not be so bad if they were at least continuing to share a passion for gym.

But that second treadmill was in fact for personal trainer Tracy Anderson who, for the past year, has been living in Madonna's London home and playing far more of a role in her life than her soon-to-be-ex-husband.

Guy and Madonna slept in separate rooms on that break, as had become usual, and were by then communicating only via their personal assistants. The treadmills are a neat metaphor for the way Ritchie has been excluded from Madonna's life.

Her irrational food fads and increasingly bizarre attempts to hold back time — via surgery, exercise and every therapy going — certainly helped to doom their marriage.

How could anyone expect Ritchie, a macho man who is fond of the pub and likes to shoot pheasant, to dine contentedly every night on quinoa grains and organic vegetable dumplings?

Diet regime

And how was he supposed to react when his wife took to retiring at night slathered in £500-a-pot cream and covered in a plastic body-suit to hold back the signs of ageing?

It now emerges that every aspect of life at the Ritchie residence in London was dictated by the lady of the house. Madonna, who embraced a macrobiotic diet in the early 1990s, told her chefs what was permitted: she chose the precise blend of Colombian coffee and tutted over the exact provenance of air-freighted Canadian blueberries.

Guy, then, has allegedly had to endure a life married to a 5ft 4in domestic tyrant whose rules apparently included no TV, no newspapers, and no welcome for his “London” friends — sustained on a diet, which would make a Hollywood starlet feel faint.

For instance, gossips claim his Christmas meal was minus chipolata sausages last year because she would not hear of processed meat crossing the threshold.

He had to drink his tea every day with rice milk, as dairy is banned.

Meat is only very occasionally present on the menu. The only exception to this was at their country estate, Ashcombe House, in Wiltshire, where Guy was allowed to serve a full breakfast to shooting parties — even including such fat-filled items as steak-and-kidney pie.

(Madonna thought this kind of food so foul that she would leave the room in disgust when it arrived and sip reproachfully at her bowl of Japanese miso soup.)

Guy apparently used to complain that she was giving her children an unhealthy attitude towards food: she banned sugar entirely, which made biscuits, ice creams and cakes objects of almost otherworldly fascination for her daughter Lourdes and their son Rocco. She also banned cheese, cream, salt and preservatives.

One in Guy's camp suggested to me that Her Madgeness had to be talked into permitting Rocco to have a birthday cake last year.

Even when the pair went out for “romantic” meals — and in the final two years of the relationship this was one of the few activities they shared — Madonna would generally refuse to eat anything.

One associate said she doesn't “trust” the kitchens, even in Claridge's and Nobu, to prepare food to her exacting standards.

“If you were to use the word controlling, you would not even be coming close to describing the way she is about food.”

So she would sit with a glass of water as Guy wolfed down his meal. The topic of discussion, chosen by Madonna, was generally the kabbalah, or an earnest exposition about President Bush. It wasn't fun.

No wonder Guy bought himself a pub in February. And, sources insist, the food was not even the worst of Guy's daily miseries as Mr Madonna.

Exercise mania

Her exercise routine, never less than two hours a day, six days a week, rules her life.

She went to the gym the day her adopted son David Banda arrived from Malawi, and spent nearly four hours honing her body. She worked out on her birthday this summer, and on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Guy's entreaties to her to do less, and spend some time with him and the children, were ignored.

“I'm not going to slow down, get off this ride, stay home and get fat,” she told a magazine.

“There are no short cuts to being Madonna.” The star whose ambitions have propelled her from obscurity to fame and a £315million fortune regards “being Madonna” as roughly equivalent to running a multi-national company. And she thinks her extraordinary body is its main asset.

For this reason Tracy Anderson, who has helped her to build muscles with her own variant on aerobics and pilates, probably sees more of Madonna than anyone else.

After breakfast in London, Madonna would spend a short time at her computer before going to the £6million property next door which houses her gym and working out with Tracy, a pint-sized American blonde whose sweet smile masks a formidable drive.

Madonna started working out properly around the time of the Blond Ambition tour in 1990. She met Carlos Leon, the father of Lourdes, while jogging around Central Park.

As a fitness instructor, that meant they always had something — apart from sex — in common, and they remain close friends. While pregnant with Lourdes she would do 45 minutes on a Stairmaster every day. Pilates was her next enthusiasm, then the more vigorous Ashtanga yoga.

She also jogs, pumps iron and swims, and for a period tried a brutal-looking wooden rack known as “Gyrotonic expansion” designed to stretch and tone muscles.

As a result of all this she has recurring back and knee problems, and tours with a chiropractor and physiotherapist. In concert in the US recently, she sported two enormous plasters on her knees.

“People talk about Kabbalah, but her one fanatical devotion is to her body,” said an associate.

Interestingly, she did try, back in 2005, to boost the marriage by taking up judo. Ritchie is a black belt, and she went to his unpretentious gym in Fulham, and for a while seemed keen on learning her moves. At that point they had been trying for two years to conceive a brother or sister for Rocco.

Despite visits to various fertility clinics in Los Angeles, and following Kabbalah teachings to help them, she failed to become pregnant.

It was a source of deep disappointment to them both, and brought Madonna's insecurities about her age (and the ten-year gap between her and Guy) to the fore.

But, within months, Madonna abandoned Ritchie to his martial arts and went back to yoga and pilates. A plan slowly took hold to adopt a child instead — and we all know how that turned out.

Now she is on tour, she looks exhausted and grey-faced. Her knee is strapped up between dates. Some plastic surgery — allegedly done this summer although she denies it — is unpleasantly obvious. And because she is so very thin — a stone and a half lighter than when she had her first hit 25 years ago — downy hair is growing on her face.

No wonder Madonna is feeling uncharacteristically fragile. She has a small band of female friends whom she calls her “Semtex girls” and they are constantly required to bolster her with calls and e-mails.

They include Tracy Anderson, Madonna's assistant Johanna, who also lives in, and Shavawn Gordon, the nanny hired to look after toddler David. Madonna also confides regularly in Gwyneth Paltrow. “She really relies on this group of women,” said the source. “She doesn't like them to be with anyone else while she needs them.”

As she approached her 50th birthday this year, Madonna turned from chemical peels, Botox and fillers to full-scale cosmetic surgery, a fact reported after she was pictured walking about with black eyes and bruises.

Ritchie seems to have greeted her changing face with blank incomprehension.

In the end, of course, something had to give. And Madonna sure as hell was not going to give up her gym.

Now, you can bet, Guy Ritchie is already looking forward to openly eating his first sausage rolls in almost a decade.

Caught in the crossfire

THE DIVORCE IS creating a split in the showbusiness world, with Madonna apparently telling her friends that they must choose between her and Ritchie.

“Madonna does not want to be telling one of her friends in confidence about some part of the divorce strategy only to discover that it has found its way back to Guy,” said a source.

“The next few months will be a time where Guy and Madonna will only talk through lawyers. It will be a time of posturing and strategy play between their legal teams.

“The last thing Madonna wants is to be telling a friend about the current state of, for example, the custody battle over the children, and then to find that information has got back to Guy.”

All of which will make for an uncomfortable situation for many of the couple's friends. There are, of course, some who fall clearly into the Ritchie camp, for example Marco Pierre White, Vinnie Jones, Matthew Vaughn and Jason Statham.

And there will be those who have only ever been close to Madonna, such as Stella McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Donatella Versace, Elton John, Oprah Winfrey, Roberto Cavalli, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Demi Moore.

But finding themselves in the unenviable position of not wanting to side with either are the likes of Sting, Trudie Styler, and Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher. Styler and her husband orchestrated the couple's first meeting while Borat star Baron Cohen and his girlfriend Fisher were great friends with Ritchie and subsequently became just as close to Madonna.

Battle lines drawn

MADONNA AND GUY Ritchie are lining up for what could become the costliest divorce in British legal history.

The singer is understood to have already offered Ritchie their country estate Ashcombe House, which is worth some £12million, plus a lump sum of as little as £15million.

But legal experts estimate that he could fight for up to £75million, comprising half the estimated £80million they have earned between them over their ten-year relationship, a further regular maintenance payout and properties.

Such an amount would dwarf Britain's largest divorce settlement so far of £48million, paid by insurance magnate John Charman to wife Beverley in 2006.

Madonna, who has an estimated personal fortune of £275million, has already lined up a fearsome legal team including the so-called “Steel Magnolia” Fiona Shackleton and Nicholas Mostyn QC, the lawyers Sir Paul McCartney employed for his vicious two-year divorce battle with Heather Mills.

However friends of Ritchie's argue that, after a combative marriage, we can expect a peaceful divorce. Those hoping for a high-profile spat will be disappointed, they say.

“He won't take a penny,” one of his drinking companions said.

The sticking point, as the couple begin their life continents apart, could be custody and visiting rights for their children — Lourdes, 12 (Madonna's daughter from a previous relationship), Rocco, eight, and David Banda, their adopted Malawian two-year-old.

It is known that Madonna and Ritchie called time on their marriage after months of arguing over a wide range of issues.

The rows culminated in an almighty fall-out last Friday in which the singer gave her husband an ultimatum to move from London to New York with her. Ritchie, 40, reacted furiously and refused to relocate — sealing their fate.

“Guy just went mad saying there was no way he was moving abroad away from his roots and family on a whim just because Madonna desired another of her notorious image changes,” a well-placed source said.

“Madonna was incensed, telling him ‘either you're in or out’.”

“It has become so bad that they cannot be in a room together for more than a few minutes without having a shouting match,” the source said.

“Over the weekend they spoke more calmly and admitted they had only been staying together for the children and had been living a lie.”

Cracks in the marriage were apparent in June, when they attended marriage counselling with Kabbalah elders near their home in London. They emerged with a plan they hoped would save their marriage.

Both pledged to reduce their work schedules and not to be apart for more than a week at a time. They also pledged to support one another's interests and when necessary, career choices.

And Madonna also agreed to postpone her plans for another adoption until next year. However, Madonna apparently broke the rules almost immediately.

“Madonna just completely ignored what they had agreed, focused on her new world tour, focused on herself and just shut Guy out. It was almost as if she was saying to him ‘You're not my boss’.”

The couple have also argued about their religious beliefs.

Said the source: “Madonna believes the reason she is a world icon is that she has somehow been chosen to channel messages to the masses.

“She feels her destiny has been preordained. Guy on the other hand thinks that's a load of b*******.

“Kabbalah to him is about spiritual enlightenment and being one with yourself and the world.'

And in recent months, Guy's confidence in his career has grown, with the success of his latest film RockNRolla.

“Guy has felt emasculated throughout the marriage,” the source said.

“But getting into a major project that has done so well has really given Guy a major confidence boost. And it has been that confidence which allowed him to stand up to Madonna and tell her he was not going to put up with her any more.”

In the end, it was Madonna's plan that the family should move to America, which sealed their fate.

One well-placed source said: “Madonna told him that she had tired of Britain and the British press who had crucified her over the adoption of David Banda.”

By that time, she had already been spending increasing amounts of time in New York — and that brought its own dangers.

There have been rumours of her growing closeness to the US baseball player Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod), and she has been spotted dining with him recently in New York.

“Madonna has a growing closeness with A-Rod. It's nothing sexual, it's what you might call a non-physical affair,' the source said. 'But the point is that Madonna clearly feels A-Rod nourishes her in some way that Guy cannot.”

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