Madonna is fighting for custody of her 15-year-old son Rocco.
The circus is coming to town.
A High Court in London ruled that Madonna can end her legal action in England against ex-husband Guy Ritchie over the custody of their 15-year-old son Rocco, clearing the way for litigation in New York.
At the same time, the London Family Court judge implored the singer and her British director ex to resolve their differences quickly or they will lose the “fast receding days” of their son’s childhood.
Their son, Rocco, triggered the controversy in December when he refused to return to New York after touring with his mother. He insisted on living with his father in London.
Madonna, 57, went to a London court, where she asked Mr. Justice Alistair MacDonald to order Ritchie, 47, to put the teenager on a plane. Instead, the judge ordered Rocco’s lawyer to hold onto his passport temporarily until he got a better understanding of what happened.
Frustrated, Madonna pursued the custody fight in Manhattan court. State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kaplan ordered Rocco home by January.
Instead, with the blessing of both parents, he enrolled in a school in London.
MacDonald called Rocco “a very great credit” to his parents and urged the couple to enjoy his company rather than wage a war for it.
“At the root of these proceedings, and I venture to add, the proceedings in the United States, is a temporary breakdown in trust,” the judge said in his decision.
He said this is not uncommon when parents live apart but “the court should be the option of very last resort” and he urged the parents again to resolve their differences.
“Summer does not last forever. The boy very quickly becomes the man. It would be a very great tragedy for Rocco if any more of the precious and fast receding days of his childhood were to be taken up by this dispute,” MacDonald said.
“Far better for each of his parents to spend that time enjoying, in turn, the company of the mature, articulate and reflective young man who is their son and a very great credit to them both.”
Madonna is in a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie.
Earlier this month, the Manhattan judge also urged the parents to settle their dispute amicably but the judge reluctantly set a June 1 hearing date in case they cannot.
New York courts were chosen by the couple as the place to resolve any custody disputes when they divorced in 2009 and Rocco’s refusal to come home in December triggered the first and only legal battle between them.
Amid the custody dispute, Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour has been riddled with awkward moments — including her exposing a 17-year-old concertgoer’s breast onstage and being accused of performing drunk. She has also rambled about the custody battle and dedicated a song to her estranged son.