Madonna custody battle over son Rocco returns to NY court

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 02, 2016 11:41 AM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawyers for pop singer Madonna and her ex-husband, British film director Guy Ritchie, return to a New York court on Wednesday in a bid to resolve a custody dispute over the couple's 15 year-old son Rocco.

Neither Madonna nor Ritchie is expected to attend the Manhattan Supreme Court hearing in person, a court official said. It follows Rocco's refusal in December to return to New York with his mother. The couple divorced in 2008 and agreed Rocco would live with Madonna.

Rocco has been living in London with his father since December, despite a New York judge's order instructing the teen to return to New York. According to celebrity media reports, Madonna's strict parenting style is thought to be at the heart of the dispute.

The "Rebel Heart" singer, 57, is currently on the Asian leg of her world tour. She performed in Singapore on Sunday and her next show is in New Zealand on March 5. Rocco had joined her for the initial stages of the tour, working backstage. He also went on tour with her in 2012.

Madonna has posted a string of childhood photos of Rocco on social media in the past two months, expressing her affection for him.

"I miss this boy so full of life so full@of@love" she wrote on Instagram last week over a photo of a smiling, long-haired Rocco.

Twice-married Madonna has four children: daughter Lourdes, 19, with her then-partner Carlos Leon, Rocco, and David and Mercy, both 10, who were adopted from Malawi.

Ritchie, who directed the 2009 "Sherlock Holmes" movie starring Robert Downey Jr., remarried in 2015 to British model Jacqui Ainsley.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Dan Grebler)