A memoir by Madonna's brother says the singer really does love her husband, director Guy Ritchie, but, apparently, not as much as she loves her career and herself.
"I hope that it is Kabbalah's lesson that she is not the center of the universe," Christopher Ciccone writes in "Life With My Sister Madonna," scheduled to come out next Tuesday but purchased in advance by The Associated Press.
The 342-page book, published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment, arrives at a time when Madonna has been linked to the breakup of the marriage between New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and his wife, Cynthia Rodriguez, who filed for divorce Monday.
Madonna issued a statement Sunday saying that she has "nothing to do with the state of his marriage or what spiritual path he may choose to study," apparently referring to reports that the singer had introduced the ballplayer to Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism.
According to her brother, she and Ritchie love each other, despite rumors that they are splitting up. He believes they are "passionately committed" to staying married, with the help of Kabbalah.
Christopher Ciccone, 47, worked often with his older sister, designing and directing her "Girlie Show" tour in 1993 and serving as artistic director of her 1991 documentary, "Madonna: Truth or Dare." But in his book, he says they are no longer close.
An e-mail message sent to Madonna's representative, Liz Rosenberg, seeking comment on the book was not immediately returned.
Ciccone's memoir includes everything from gossip about Madonna's sex life (she lost her virginity to a "guy named Russell") to anecdotes about such ex-lovers as Sean Penn and Warren Beatty, who allegedly cornered Ciccone at a party and quizzed him intensely on what it was like to be gay.
"Life With My Sister Madonna" was co-authored by celebrity biographer Wendy Leigh, who has written books on Liza Minnelli, Grace Kelly and Arnold Schwarzenegger.