HeadLine: TWO DAYS TO GO: The Maddy crowd
The Mirror, 20/12/2000, p12&13.
by RUKI SAYID, POLLY GRAHAM & SHAUN MILNE
THE first sprinkling of Hollywood royalty arrived in the Highlands
yesterday as the stars began gathering for Madonna’s £1million wedding.
But the guest whose presence will mean most to the singer is a man who
has no superstar trappings at all.
Madonna has ended her long and bitter rift with Silvio “Tony” Ciccone,
the father she has always adored – and he will be the one who gently
but proudly guides her down the aisle on Friday.
Their public display of restored family love will be witnessed by a
glittering gathering of famous guests.
Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow was first to fly in from America. She
stepped off a private plane at Inverness airport yesterday with Chloe
designer Stella McCartney, who has created Madonna’s £20,000 gown.
Gwyneth, 28, was dressed for the bracing Scottish weather in a black
coat, jeans, dark glasses and a grey woollen hat. She will be chief
bridesmaid when her close friend marries British film director Guy
Ritchie. But she was not giving away any secrets as she was whisked to
Skibo Castle in Sutherland in a black Range Rover.
Sting and his wife Trudie Styler – credited with introducing Madonna to
Guy – also arrived by private jet. They are expected to be named as
godparents when Guy and Madonna’s son Rocco is christened at Dornoch
Actor Rupert Everett, Madonna’s co-star in The Next Best Thing and
former footballer Vinnie Jones, who starred in Guy’s first film, Lock
Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, are expected today. Friends star Jennifer
Aniston and husband Brad Pitt are also on the guest list.
Guy’s father John, stepmother Shireen and stepbrother Oliver arrived on
a scheduled British Airways flight from Gatwick.
John, 71, could not hide his joy at being there for the fairy-tale
wedding. The retired advertising executive said he felt “very honoured”
to have Madonna as a prospective daughter-in-law and added: “I am
absolutely delighted to be here. We are very excited – it’s going to be
He said of Madonna: “I think she has a fantastic strength – I have
thought that for years. But she can be very down-to-earth and quiet.
She is also a very nice person. She has a fantastic personality and she
is very charming and very kind.”
Madonna and Guy, 32, flew to Inverness on Monday with Rocco and
Madonna’s daughter Lourdes, four, to begin preparations for the double
As frantic preparations got under way and A-list guests began arriving,
there was an air of expectation around one VIP who is due today:
Ever since she was a little girl, all the pop rebel really yearned for
was her father’s blessing. It has taken her 42 years to gain the one
thing her millions could never buy… and now that she has won her
father’s approval, the Material Girl has finally come of age.
When proud Tony leads her down the aisle and into the arms of her
husband-to-be, it will be a very public act of reconciliation.
And to prove how much his presence at her wedding means, Madonna has
invited the stepmother she once loathed and accused of beating her
until her nose bled.
Just a few years ago, she would never have dreamt of standing in the
same room as Joan Gustafson – the woman who replaced her beloved mother
in Tony’s life. But motherhood and a second marriage have mellowed
A middle child in a large Catholic clan of eight, she was just six when
her mother, also called Madonna, died of breast cancer, aged 36. Her
death had a profound affect on the young girl. For two years, she slept
in her father’s bed, for fear he, too, would leave her.
When Tony married his long-term housekeeper, Madonna gained a
stepsister and stepbrother, but felt she had lost her father. And so
began a feud that was to last for 15 years.
“I hated my father for a long, long time,” she revealed. “Like all
young girls, I was in love with my father. Then he was taken away from
me when he married my stepmother. It was then that I said: ‘OK, I don’t
need anybody. No one will break my heart again’.”
But now the past is being buried – and Madonna is determined that this
romance will not follow the same disastrous route as her shortlived
marriage to Brat Pack actor Sean Penn.
“You don’t make those kind of mistakes twice,” she says.
Siblings Anthony, 44, Paula, 41, Christopher, 40, and Melanie, 38 will
be there to see her exchange her vows. But her alcoholic brother
Martin, 43, and stepbrother and stepsister Mario, 30, and Jennifer, 31,
haven’t been asked.
For her dad, the VIPs and pop-star trappings will mean little. It will
just be a day of immense paternal joy.
As he prepared to fly in from Michigan, the reserved 68-year-old could
not hide his excitement. “I am hugely proud of her,” he beamed.
“She is happier than ever and she is very much in love. Madonna is my
daughter. I would love her whatever happened. Things are better than
they have ever been.”
Tony retired as a designer for car firm Chrysler and invested in the
Ciccone Vineyard and Winery six years ago. Though a staunch Catholic,
he is happy to forget his daughter’s erotic stage act and soft-porn
He simply says: “There are certain things which need to remain private
within a family. My daughter knows how I felt.” For her part, Madonna
has finally stopped rebelling.
She still feels the loss of her mother, but now that she is a mum
herself she understands why her father laid down strict rules for his
children, including a “chore chart” which each had to obey.
“You name it, I did it,” she says. “Washing out the diaper pail.
Defrosting the freezer. Raking the leaves. Washing the dishes.
Babysitting. Laundry. Vacuuming. Everything.”
But Madonna won’t regret all that on Friday when she receives a
priceless wedding gift. Her father’s blessing.
MADONNA’S sister Paula, 41, flew into a jealous rage when the singer
married actor Sean Penn in 1985. One guest recalled her screaming:
“This should be my wedding day, not hers! This should be my career –
all this attention should have been mine.” Friends say they have always
been at each other’s throats. Maybe Paula will be less jealous now she
has established herself as a TV producer.
SHY Christopher, 40, forgave Madonna when she outed him in a gay
American magazine. But she admitted: “He’s probably not very
comfortable with it.”
An artist and interior designer, he is her tour manager.
AT 44, photographer Anthony is the eldest and realised that life would
be tough living in his famous sister’s shadow. He studied drama, but
says: “People pretend they’re interested in you, but they’re not,
MEL, 36, is married to recording artist Joe Henry and has a son Levon,
11. She was with Madonna when she gave birth to Lourdes.
Affectionately known as “Smells”, she is regarded by the star as a role
ALCOHOLIC Martin, 43, pleaded with his sister for a wedding invite –
but instead, he is back in a drying-out clinic.
Madonna is picking up the bill for his treatment at the Chabad
Rehabilitation Centre in Los Angeles.
MADONNA’S half-sister Jennifer, 31, has not made it on to the
wedding-guest list, even though the star gets on with her.
The same can’t be said of stepbrother Mario, who says: “I don’t even
like her music.”
MARIO, 30, is a former cocaine addict and thug who has battered a
motorist and broken a police officer’s nose.
Madonna saved him from a possible 10-year jail sentence for burglary
while on parole by hiring top lawyers.
Categories: Daily Mirror articles