Madonna will always love Sean

right: 2013

right: 2013

{ originally published in 2015 }

Madonna started it herself, breathing life into the whole myth of her and Sean Penn coming back together again.
Or at least toying with the thought.
Or toying with him.
Maybe the birthday tweet in which she commemorated her own birthday (16 August, also their wedding day) and his birthday (August 17) was just her way of saying:
“Hey you! You’re single again! What the f*?! is taking you so long?”
Because in recent years he had truly been testing her patience.
Or lack of it.

It was early 1985 when Madonna and Sean had their meet cute at the set of Material Girl.
At 24, Penn was already an acclaimed actor and a notorious hand-full, and Madonna was a beginning star.

The Material Girl video made no secret what her ambition was.
It had people admire her with lines as:
“The biggest star in the universe right now as we speak”.
But although those words were prophetic, she had not acquired world fame yet.
Her 1984 album Like a Virgin was out, but it wouldn’t be until they added Get Into the Groove, in the re-issue from July 1985, that it became a bestseller world wide. 

America knew Madonna from her gyrating performance in wedding dress at the first ever MTV video movie awards, an appearance that was noticed by Sean Penn who immediately took an interest in her. But in Europe we were years from having MTV.
The only Madonna we knew was the mother of Jesus, but she would have to make way soon.

Madonna and Sean marry on her 27th birthday. The marriage was as passionate as it was toxic, with him switching between being the best lover she ever had, and being a terrifying, abusive alcoholic. The physical violence climaxed December 1988. She left. It was over.
Or was it?

Over the years the two kept in touch, from when she was dating Warren Beatty, to when she had her baby Lourdes in 1996 and invited Sean to be present during the delivery.
Very curious how he sold that to his then-wife Robin Wright Penn.
And if he accepted.
In more recent years there has been a whole series of meet, greets, and flirtations going back and forth. There was the photo for their birthdays this year, but also
 last year, when she dressed her son up as a character Sean Penn played.
That’s two years in a row Madonna did not let the birthdays/ wedding date go by unnoticed.
He divorced Wright in 2010, and attended Madonna’s concert October 2012.
They probably had to rebuild the Los Angeles Staples Center after putting out the fire the two caused.
And in 2013 things got into a higher gear:

In September he attended her Secret Project Revolution.
In November he and Madonna and her son Rocco hung out in Haiti, touring his charity projects.
In December 2013 Sean Penn announced his relationship to Charlize Theron.
Excuse me?
After three months of him and Madonna continuously sharing public displays of affection, he’s with Theron? You re kidding right?

I can only imagine how p*ssed off she must have been over that one. But thankfully to all of us who like a good story: Charlize Theron ended things a few months ago. Penn is back on the market. And we’re all praying this time he’ll make the right choice.
With chances of a reunion soaring, what could be the reason Madonna and Penn act like a latter-day Taylor and Burton?
First, there is the obvious: he looks like her father.
Okay, that was a cheap one, but stuff like that matters!
With her father too, she had a troubled relationship. Madonna was 5 when her mother died, and after that she competed her siblings to get attention of their father. This was the first relationship she had with a man.

No wonder she didn’t shy away at the first sign of difficulty with Sean.
But there is another reason I think she will always love Sean: He was the only one who treated her as an equal. And that’s why he was so violent. Because he wanted her down, he wanted to control her.
Something no one in their right mind has ever tried since.
And thirty years after their marriage date, and probably thirty young, old and versatile lovers later, Madonna will see that Sean was the only one that stuck. That kept a flame burning and the only one who ever tried to defy her.
And this time?
She’s ready.

An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Madonna will always love Sean will be published in the first English book under my real name:

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