Pop queen Madonna appeared in a New York City court room to request legal intervention in a custody battle with her ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
Rocco, 15, has recently been staying abroad with his father, and wants to live there long-term. At the hearing, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kaplan asked if the teen had been “prevented” from coming back to the U.S.
A lawyer for Ritchie admitted that the director had “effectively” been keeping his son in the U.K.
“He [Rocco] has expressed very clearly that he does not want to return to New York,” Ritchie’s lawyer argued.
While the judge said it would be fine for Rocco to change his primary living arrangement in the future, he would first have to return to the U.S. to begin that process.
Judge Kaplan told Madonna, “I’m granting you all the relief you have requested. I’m directing the child to be returned to New York. If he wants to stay with his father, he [first] must return to his mother”.
To help him through the potential custody change, Rocco will get his own court-appointed lawyer.
Both parents were ordered not to discuss the case with him. Madonna declined to comment as she left the court house, and never before publicly acknowledged there was any kind of dispute. She and Ritchie, who also co-parent 10-year-old son David, divorced in 2008.