GUY Ritchie has told a court how he feared he could be arrested over a dispute with Madonna over the custody of their 15-year-old son.
Hearings continued in London today to determine where teen Rocco should live.
Mr Justice MacDonald was told that filmmaker Mr Ritchie feared he might be arrested for being in contempt of an American judge’s order to return Rocco to the US.
But David Williams QC, representing Madonna, said the Like a Virgin singer would not bring contempt proceedings and Mr Ritchie should not fear arrest if he travelled with Rocco to New York.
During the hearing representatives for Madonna said she wanted to “heal the wounds” opened in the battle with her ex.
Yesterday the court heard Madonna was unable to attend as she continued her Rebel Heart tour in Australia.
“The mother remains on tour, I think in Australia,” David Williams QC, for Madonna, told the judge. “She would very much wish to be here.”
Mr Justice MacDonald urged Madonna and Mr Ritchie to try and settle the dispute – echoing similar pleas made by a judge in New York.
Lawyers told Mr Justice MacDonald that both Madonna and Mr Ritchie had outlined proposals for negotiation.
Madonna proposed that Rocco and Mr Ritchie travel to her home in New York when she ended her current tour to try to “reach a resolution”.
Mr Ritchie proposed a “round table” meeting in London involving lawyers.
Members of Madonna’s legal team had taken instructions from her after she finished performing in Melbourne on Thursday.
David Williams QC outlined what Madonna had said at the start of Friday’s hearing.
“She does not wish for these proceedings in England to continue for any longer than necessary,” he told Mr Justice MacDonald.
“She does not wish for the American proceedings to continue for any longer than necessary.”
He added: “She views the prospect of further proceedings anywhere … with horror.”
Mr Williams went on: “What she has always wanted to do and still continues to seek to do is to find a way in which this family can get to heal the wounds which have been inflicted on this family over the past four months or so and to chart a course for Rocco and the family which enables them to put this behind them and to restore peace to the family.”
He said Madonna did not see the problem in such “simple terms” as Rocco.
She felt the issue was “not just about Rocco” and had said other family members had been “profoundly affected” when Rocco and Mr Ritchie decided that the youngster would stay in London late last year.
Mr Williams said Madonna had another six concert dates and would return home to New York in the near future.
He added: “She really very much hopes that the family can get back together in New York over the Easter vacation and start the process, with all of them involved, in trying to reach a resolution to this problem.”
The judge in New York had earlier urged Madonna, 57, and her ex-husband to reach an “amicable settlement” and bring an end to the “highly unfortunate and deeply regrettable” situation.
A hearing in New York last week declared Rocco should stay with his father for the time being to prevent further disruption to his education.
Another hearing is scheduled in the US for June 1 in the event they are unable to reach a resolution in the dispute.
Rocco left Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ tour late last year to stay with his father and subsequently defied a court order to return to his mother and siblings Lourdes, 19, David, and Mercy, both 10, for Christmas. – Daily Mirror