Madonna has her say on Oprah
From the Chicago Sun Times: Madonna tells Oprah her side
Madonna portrayed herself as a heroine Tuesday – and Oprah Winfrey’s audience believed her.
Trying to defuse controversy surrounding her adoption of a 13-month-old African boy, Madonna spoke with Winfrey via satellite from London. The interview was taped at Winfrey’s studio in Chicago and will air on “Oprah” this morning at 9 on WLS-Channel 7.
“She seemed very sincere,” said Jessica Busch, 25, of Wrigleyville. “You could tell that she genuinely loves this little boy.”
Madonna, 48, caused a furor last month when she and her husband, British film director Guy Ritchie, adopted the boy, David Banda. Critics charged she and Ritchie rushed the adoption and skirted the law. The boy’s father, Yohane Banda, then said he never intended to give his son up permanently. Time.com reported Tuesday afternoon the father will not contest the adoption.
‘Giving him a better life’
Madonna told Oprah her version Tuesday, saying the father questioned the adoption only after being hounded by the media.
Earlier, he had looked Madonna in the eye and thanked her for “giving him a better life,” Sharon Lynch of Hoffman Estates quoted Madonna as saying.
“She’s been trying to do the right thing,” said Lynch, who described the “Oprah” audience as “very supportive.”
Madonna told Winfrey that reports she got adoption advice from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were false. She also said David has pneumonia, contracted in Malawi, but is getting better. She plans to take David back to his home country of Malawi once or twice a year.
The singer depicted the father, Yohane Banda, as uninvolved in the boy’s life, saying David had been in an orphanage since he was 2 weeks old, audience members said. When he contracted malaria, tubercuosis and pneumonia, the father did not visit him, Madonna said.
The boy’s mother and three siblings died of AIDS.
Though Madonna came across as sincere, some audience members wondered what had happened to the Detroit native’s inflections.
“The most interesting thing was that she’s developed a British accent. I’m going, ‘Where did that come from?’ ” Lynch said.
• From the Associated Press: Madonna blames media for adoption flap
Madonna told Oprah Winfrey she was surprised by the firestorm surrounding her efforts to adopt a 13-month-old boy from the African country of Malawi. And she blamed the media for it.
Madonna taped the interview Tuesday via satellite from London, for airing Wednesday. It was the first time she’d spoken publicly in depth about the adoption.
According to a member of the “Oprah” audience, Madonna said she was startled by press reports about the toddler’s father, Yohane Banda, who was quoted last week as saying he didn’t realize he was signing away custody of his son, David, “for good.”
“She said she met with the father, she looked him in the eye,” audience member Sheryl Lewis recounted.
Madonna, she added, said she acted according to the law and had both “oral and written approval … and now the press have gotten to him,” Lewis said.
In an interview posted Tuesday on Time magazine’s Web site, Banda said, for his son’s sake, he will not contest the adoption.
“I don’t want my child, who is already gone, to come back,” he said. “I will be killing his future if I accept that.”
Madonna told the “Oprah” audience that she and her husband, Guy Ritchie, had been thinking about adoption for more than two years, said Lewis, who lives in Deerfield, Illinois.
Another “Oprah” audience member, Amanda Bannon of Crawfordsville, Indiana, told ABC News that “the biggest thing was that Madonna wants to get the point across that she doesn’t want this to be a discouragement to other families to not adopt.”