Do you ever suffocate people?
“No,” she bursts out laughing. “I’ve never been accused of that. If anything it’s the opposite. I give people a lot of room. Sometimes I give people far too much room and … sometimes they’re just begging me to come into the room.”
You seem to have pinballed through quite a few relationships since your marriage.
“Not any more than most people I know.”
Are you difficult to have a relationship with?
“Yeah, I’m difficult on a lot of levels,” she laughs. “Just my situation alone is pretty daunting and probably keeps a fair share of men away from me. You have to be prepared for your private life to be spilled to the world because the minute you start going out with me, that’s what happens. So they have to find that out and understand that their past in now public domain. I try to warn them, but you can never warn people completely. Some people take it very well and others are destroyed by it. It does affect my relationships.”
In Truth Or Dare, you answer a question someone asks you by saying “Sean”.
What was the question?
“Who is the love of your life.”
You must miss him?
“I do,” she says quietly. “I still love Sean and I understand very clearly, now that time has passed, why things didn’t work out between us. I miss certain things about our relationship because I really do consider Sean to be my equal – that’s why I married him. I don’t suppose I’ve found that yet with anybody else.”
There seemed to be something good between the two of you. You were more like mates than husband and wife.
“Really?” she asks, pleased but visibly upset. “We did make a really good couple, didn’t we? But we had our problems. I hate to keep talking about it. It’s all over. But … there’s something to be said about people being the love of your life. Even if it doesn’t work there’s always that person that you love. I did have a real connection with Sean and I still do. I feel close to him even though we’re not physically close. Going through what we went through made us very close. There was a lot of pressure. I mean, it really is amazing we didn’t kill each other. But I don’t feel like it was a waste of time. I still love him.”
Are you a happy person?
“Well,” she sighs deeply, “I’m a very tormented person, I suppose. I have a lot of demons I’m wrestling with. But I want to be happy. I have moments of happiness. I can’t say I’m never happy. I’m working towards knowing myself and I’m assuming that will bring me happiness. I’m slowly getting rid of the demons. You see, I don’t think you can truly be loved until you know and love yourself. Then, you can be truly loved and that’s what I want.”
Is there anything else left to achieve?
“Apart from those basic things? No, I don’t think so. And that’s the most difficult thing in the world to achieve. All this,” she smiles, with a sweep of her arm, “is nothing in comparison. It’s a breeze.”
Just like her entrance, her exit is mildly dramatic. Standing and straightening her well-ventilated shirt she once again proffers her hand, maintaining steady, unblinking eye contact. Then she walks slowly out of the room, past a curious painting of a make-believe map bearing her brother Christopher’s signature, and disappears through a door.
After a moment you follow her into a broad, sunlit kitchen where a small solitary kettle perches on a sprawling hob and the surfaces gleam brilliantly as if they were auditioning for a spray polish commercial. Unaware that she is being watched, Madonna slouches against a table, idly leafing through a magazine, absently reaching out to an opened bag of over-sized crisps which she is systematically cramming into her mouth. Suddenly aware that she has been caught with her defences down – she looks up and the potato chip freezes in mid-air. After a moment’s thought, she grins defiantly, winks, then munches it ferociously.
© Q Magazine