Speculation grows over Madonna divorce

LONDON – Speculation that U.S. pop singer Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie plan to divorce grew on Wednesday after a report in a British newspaper said the couple would announce the split "imminently."

When asked about the report in the Sun tabloid, Barbara Charone, Madonna’s London-based publicist, replied: "No comment."

Madonna and British film maker Ritchie have denied previous reports that they planned to end their eight-year marriage.

The Sun quoted a "highly-placed source" as saying Madonna, 50, and Ritchie, 40, "just couldn’t live together any more" and could "no longer bear to live with the pretence" of being happily married.

Rumors that the London-based couple planned to split have been circulating for months, fueled by reports in the summer that the singer had lined up Fiona Shackleton, a lawyer who acted for former Beatle Paul McCartney in his divorce.

Madonna and Ritchie have a son, Rocco, who was several months old on their wedding day. In 2006 Madonna applied to adopt David Banda, a boy from Malawi whose mother died shortly after his birth.

The adoption was approved by a court in Malawi in May.

Madonna also has a daughter, Lourdes, from an earlier relationship. She was married once before, to actor Sean Penn, in the 1980s. Reuters