By Elizabeth Snead, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Whether or not you believe the rumors that Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s marriage is on the rocks, it’s pretty clear that their current marital situation is a bit ... unusual.
The press has gone crazy over reports that New York Yankees star player Alex Rodriguez is having an affair with Madonna, who denies having any romantic or spiritual relationship with the ballplayer. Despite that, A-Rod’s wife, Cynthia, filed for divorce a few days after the news broke about his reported late-night visits to the Material Girl’s New York pad. And Guy flew to New York for a show of support with his wife, including attending a Kabbalah service last week.
But A-Rod is only the icing on the Madonna/Guy triple-layer-divorce-rumor cake. (WireImage.com)
The British press has long noted that the two lead separate lives. And many observers at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival noted the glum look on Guy’s face and the lack of any affection between the high-powered couple. “He looked like he was walking to the gallows, not down a red carpet,” noted one seasoned carpet watcher.
At 50, Madonna is said to be finding satisfaction in her music, her children and her good work for Malawi. Her new album is selling like gangbusters, and her tour is already sold out in Oakland on Nov. 1 and 2.
By contrast, her decade younger husband’s once promising film career (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) has stalled, even though he has (yet) another British crime caper, “RocknRolla,” due out soon. Oh, and he also has a digital graphic novel called “Gamekeeper” coming out.
Given all the rumors, now is probably as good a time as any to look back at the body language in past photos of Guy and Madonna throughout their eight-year union.
Have they lost that lovin’ feeling, so clearly there in photos taken just a few years ago? If so, let’s hope they can get it back. (Dave Hogan / Getty Images)
A blond Guy Ritchie and his matching Madonna looked blissfully in love at a music launch party back in 2000. She was even being a supportive spouse, wearing a “Snatch” promo T-shirt. (WireImage.com)
At the “Snatch” L.A. premiere, a playful Ritchie just couldn’t keep his mitts off Madge! A far cry from his robotic Cannes embraces. (WireImage.com)
In Guy’s warm embrace Madonna was all smiles at the “Swept Away” screening in 2002. Clearly, this was before their film was savaged by the critics. All the critics. (WireImage.com)
Guy Ritchie still had fun with the paparazzi back in 2003, back when he was still someone they wanted photos of. Now they just ask the grump to step aside and stop ruining their Madonna shots. (WireImage.com)
Check out how cute the two were at the 2004 Grammy Awards. Bet Madonna even helped dress her Guy Ritchie in this natty pinstriped three-button designer suit. (WireImage.com)
Bully for him
The couple was still holding hands at the 2005 “Sin City” London premiere. But Madonna’s biceps and lats are starting to look more buff than Guy’s. (WireImage.com)
Things were still going strong at the 2005 “Revolver” premiere in London. Although Guy Ritchie’s grip on Madonna’s arm looks a bit more clingy than in the past. (WireImage.com)
At the 2006 Vanity Fair Oscar party, Guy Ritchie and Madonna put on two brave party faces. Still, some spark was clearly still there. But enough to stoke the fire? (WireImage.com)
At the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar bash, Guy Ritchie still kisses Madonna’s head for photographers outside. But it’s all for show. Inside, Madge disappears to mingle, leaving him to chat with Gwyneth Paltrow and Gwen Stefani. Ouch. (WireImage.com)
At a 2007 screening, the thrill is gone and the chill has arrived. Madonna shows off her smoother, tauter face and Guy Ritchie’s got the “What am I doing here?” look on his face, the same look he wore to the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. (WireImage.com)
On a drizzly day in April, Guy Ritchie fulfills his fatherly duties by taking stepdaughter, Lourdes, and son, Rocco, out to the “Speed Racer” premiere. Where’s Madonna? Getting ready for her tour, working on her documentary and doing press for her new album, “Hard Candy,” natch. (WireImage.com)
Madonna and Guy attended Cannes to promote her documentary “I Am Because We Are,” but here the plight of Malawi’s Aids orphans appears to be just one of many painful topics for the couple. (Christophe Karaba / EPA)