LONDON – Madonna and Guy Ritchie confirmed this afternoon they will divorce. The singer's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said the couple had agreed to separate. In a short statement — co-signed by Guy’s representative — Rosenberg added the couple had not agreed a settlement.
It read: “Madonna and Guy Ritchie have agreed to divorce after seven-and-a-half years of marriage, their representatives confirmed today.
“They have both requested that the media maintain respect for their family at this difficult time.”
The couple went public with their split because they “can’t bear to live with the pretence any longer.”
They have had a string of shouting matches about the amount of time each devotes to their careers, and over Madonna’s desire to adopt another child.
A highly-placed source told The Sun: “It’s very sad. They were a great couple and brilliant parents. They just couldn’t live together any more.”
Pals say Madonna, 50, initially wanted to wait until next year to announce their separation — after her Sticky and Sweet global tour is finished.
But now she and British movie director Guy, 40, want a divorce finalized before Christmas — which would have seen the eighth anniversary of their fairytale wedding in a Scottish castle.
The source said: “Despite huge attempts to patch things up they both knew deep down that divorce was on the cards."
"It wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when.’ They tried hard over the last few months but their fighting was getting out of control."
“The final straw came before Madonna started her US tour."
“Madonna wanted a highly stage-managed separation, with their split being announced when it was convenient for her.
“She didn’t want the distraction while she is trying to concentrate on her tour."
“But a series of fights around Guy’s 40th birthday last month were so bad that Madge ended up storming out of the house and Guy’s had enough."
“Madonna was dithering at first about whether a separation would be best or whether to go ahead with the divorce.
"She has now agreed with Guy that a divorce is the best thing to do."
Ritchie has flown back from France, postponing filming of his new movie "Sherlock Holmes," to break the news to his parents.
This week he will take his possessions from the couple’s London home, which Madonna owns, and move into their Wiltshire home, which he owns.
According to the Times of London, rumors of problems in the marraige have dogged the couple for about a year. In July, the wife of New York Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez filed for divorce from her husband, claiming Madonna was to blame for the collapse of their marriage.
Madonna has denied any relationship with Rodriguez.