Madonna denies using status to speed up adoption

Madonna has not used her celebrity status to speed up the adoption of a little boy from a Southern African country, the pop idol’s spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Madonna’s effort to add Malawian toddler David Banda to her family again came under the spotlight on Monday, when the Malawian official scheduled to go to London to assess the adoption was removed from the case following allegations he had solicited money from the singer for his trip.

The dismissal breathed new life into allegations that the singer used her celebrity status to circumvent Malawian adoption laws—allegations she denies.

“There has been absolutely no interference with government officials or use of Madonna’s ‘celebrity’ to speed up this adoption as reported,” spokesperson Liz Rosenberg said in an email.

“The plans to finalise the adoption of Madonna and [her husband] Guy Ritchie’s son David are proceeding as outlined almost a year ago.”

In October, Madonna and Ritchie were granted temporary custody of David, then 13-months-old.

A report is expected to be filed before the Malawian courts in the capital Lilongwe by the February 2008 deadline for a judge to determine whether Madonna and her husband are suitable adoptive parents.

The couple’s custody order could be revoked if it is found that David was being treated differently from their other children, Lourdes (10) and Rocco (6) or if the toddler’s rights were being violated in any way.

Rosenberg expressed confidence that the judge would rule in Madonna’s favour, saying the singer’s entire family looked forward to having the adoption finalised early next year. - Sapa-AP

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