LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Call it delayed reaction.
A year after Madonna called him "emotionally retarded," former husband Guy Ritchie said in an Esquire magazine interview that hit the Web on Wednesday that he still loves her, but that she is "retarded" herself.
The 41 year-old British director said Madonna "makes things happen" and works hard at her career.
"And, of course, here you go: I still love her," Ritchie told the magazine. "But she's retarded, too."
The couple finalized their divorce in a U.K. court last November, after eight years of marriage. They have a 9 year-old son together, and also adopted a boy from Malawi.
During an October 2008 concert in Boston, Madonna told the crowd, "This song is for the emotionally retarded. Maybe you know some people who fall in that category. I know I do."
Madonna's "Sticky & Sweet" tour, which wrapped last month in Israel, smashed her own record for top-grossing tour by a solo artist, with $408 million from 85 concerts.
Ritchie, famed for such British gangster films as "Snatch" and "RocknRolla," returns to theaters in December with "Sherlock Holmes," a raucous adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle detective stories, with Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Dean Goodman