Anthony Ciccone Admits Madonna Paid For Him to Go to Rehab

The last time that Anthony Ciccone saw his sister Madonna, she was stepping out of a luxury limousine, shattering the quiet of a peaceful American Midwest town as flashing camera bulbs and screaming fans greeted the arrival of one of the world’s most famous women.

Madonna was the star attraction at a film festival three years ago, while Anthony was just another face in the crowd.

Having watched his multi-millionairess sister stroll into the cinema, he staggered off for another night of hard drinking with the town’s vagrants.

…Speaking publicly for the first time this week about his troubled past and difficult relationship with his famous sister, Anthony makes it clear the story is not a simple one — as anyone who has ever dealt with an addicted loved one will probably know.

It is clear that Madonna knows about his plight, and that she has repeatedly offered to help by paying for him to go into rehab. His father has offered to give him his job back if he gets professional help.

But ask Anthony whether his sister and their 80-year-old father, Tony, have helped him and he is immediately riled.

‘I’m a zero in their eyes; a non-person, an embarrassment,’ he tells me, his voice rising.

‘If I froze to death, my family probably wouldn’t know or care about it for six months.’

Anthony, who has considerable reserves of self-pity, but little capacity to be honest about himself, says he doesn’t need rehab, which is ‘boring’. He just needs a job, he says, and to meet the son he hasn’t seen for ten years.

‘My family seem to think rehab is some kind of magic panacea for life’s ills,’ he says, cracking open a bottle of his favourite tipple, Wild Irish Rose, a strong and ruinously cheap fortified wine.

He says he agreed to go into rehab six years ago, with Madonna paying for him to spend two months drying out in a clinic in Houston, Texas, for what he calls his ‘supposed’ alcoholism. Perhaps, given that attitude, it’s not surprising it didn’t work.

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