November 20, 2008 / 5:10 PM / 9 years ago

Madonna and Ritchie to divorce on Friday

<p>Singer Madonna and director husband Guy Ritchie arrive on the red carpet at the 61st Cannes Film Festival in this May 21, 2008 file photo.Eric Gaillard/Files</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie are to divorce in London on Friday, according to the High Court where so-called "quickie" divorces are formalized.

The case was listed on Thursday under the names Ciccone M L v Ritchie G S and will be heard before a judge in the High Court's Family Division.

Both are entitled to attend the court, although in most high-profile celebrity cases people choose not to.

The couple announced last month that they had agreed to finish their eight-year-old marriage, ending intense speculation over the relationship.

Details of the terms of the split have not been made public.

Madonna, 50, and Ritchie, 40, have a joint fortune estimated to be worth around $525 million.

The couple have a son, Rocco, who was several months old on their wedding day in December 2000, and in 2006 Madonna applied to adopt David Banda, a boy from Malawi whose mother died shortly after his birth and whose biological father has supported the adoption.

A Malawian court approved the adoption in May.

The singer also has a daughter Lourdes, born in 1996, from her relationship with fitness trainer Carlos Leon. She was married once before, to actor Sean Penn, in the 1980s.

How Madonna and Ritchie share custody of the children is unclear. Media reports have said that Madonna wants to live in the United States while Ritchie plans to remain in his native Britain.

There is also the question of how their combined fortune will be divided.

"We're not going to comment on anything at the moment," said Barbara Charone, Madonna's London-based publicist.

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan on August 16, 1958, into a large, devout Italian-Catholic family.

She went on to become one of the most successful singers of all time with estimated album sales of more than 200 million and is in the middle of her "Sticky & Sweet" world tour. Ritchie is a British film director who is currently making a major Hollywood blockbuster "Sherlock Holmes" starring Robert Downey Jr. as the Victorian-era super sleuth.

Additional reporting by and Michael Holden, editing by Paul Casciato

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