Madonna labeled ‘control freak’ by closest family member—‘I needed to be completely independent’

Madonna was reportedly determined her children would not grow up like other 'famous' kids

Madonna attends Billboard Women In Music 2016
(Image credit: Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage via Getty)

Madonna might be the glamorous Queen of Pop to her millions of fans, but according to her daughter Lourdes Leon, the music icon is a “control freak”.

Madonna continues to entertain and intrigue us all with her Madonna Madame X documentary and a look that recently sent fans into a frenzy at the MTV awards. Now her eldest child, Lourdes Leon, got candid during an eye-opening new chat with Interview Magazine as she opened up to actor Debi Mazar about life with her famous mom. The star, who has appeared in campaigns for the likes of Stella McCartney and Converse, revealed that her “privileged” upbringing was also quite “controlled”. 

Following Debi’s remark that she’d read Lourdes paid for her own college tuition and apartment, Lourdes explained, “We don’t get any handouts in my family. Obviously, I grew up with extreme privilege. There’s no denying that. But I think my mom saw all these other kids of famous people, and she was like, ‘My kids are not going to be like this.’”

Madonna and Lourdes Leon attend the premiere of Nine at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 15, 2009

(Image credit: Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic via Getty)

She seemed to suggest that Madonna’s desire to see her kids grow up a different way to other A-list children could possibly have inspired her alleged “control freak” style of parenting. 

“Also, I feel like if your parents pay for things, then it gives them leverage over you. My mom is such a control freak, and she has controlled me my whole life. I needed to be completely independent from her as soon as I graduated high school.”

Lourdes Leon attends FDA / Vogue Fashion Fund 15th Anniversary event at Brooklyn Navy Yard

(Image credit: Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage via Getty)

Though Lourdes might have been keen to go her own way, she certainly seemed to have been inspired by her mother’s example. The model has previously studied at the University of Michigan, her mother’s old alma mater.

Whilst Lourdes also graduated from LaGuardia School of Performing Arts in New York, where she is understood to have dated Timothée Chamalet, who has recently been spotted on set as Willy Wonka for his upcoming film.

Despite claiming her mother has a “control freak” approach, however, Lourdes also remarked upon how Madonna’s attitude to money and fame has given her a sense of perspective.

Madonna and daughter Lourdes Leon arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2011

(Image credit: Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic via Getty)

When asked if she appreciated her “rigid” upbringing and which piece of advice from mom stuck with her the most, it seems Madonna impressed upon Lourdes a very simple but important message—money isn’t everything!

“She said something to me recently that has really stuck with me. I’ve been so concerned with making a decent living, and wanting to live more luxuriously than I was when I first graduated and wasn’t earning a lot of money,” Lourdes said. 

“She was like, ‘Remember, this s*** is not real. It’s not about the money or your face or how hot you look. It’s about what you’re bringing into the world and what you’re going to leave behind.’ That always shakes me awake when I get too caught up in everything.” 

And though Lourdes also expressed her belief she’s “inherited her control issues” and “not her work ethic”, she praised her mother’s commitment to her career and the importance of the empowering message she sends to people everywhere. 

She declared, “My experience with my mom’s music has changed so much as I’ve gotten older, because I’m increasingly able to recognize how influential and amazing this woman is, and how empowering to other women and ahead of her time she has always been."

“I didn’t fully comprehend that until I realized the importance of empowerment and what it means to be a woman. She’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever seen.” 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!