Natalie Clarke at Daily Mail online has revised and greatly expanded theMail’s earlier article on Madonna’s adoption disaster which I cited in my blog earlier today. In the article entitled No Mercy for Madonna: Did the private jet, the Chateau Lafitte and the displays of obscene wealth turn a nation against her Clarke delivers a damning account of Madonna’s behavior and money squandering in Malawi this week amidst “adopted country’s” abject poverty (and her bizarre home rules). It’s a very long article which will enrage and disgust, even if you have nothing to do with adoption. If true, it’s gonna take more than Liz Rosenberg to spin this one.
Here’s part of it:
But then, Madonna’s arrogance has been on conspicuous display all week. Her wild extravagances in this desperately poor country are insensitive and really rather impolite.
Three days ago, for example, Madonna went to Blantyre to see the orphanage where newborn Mercy was placed following the death of her mother.
Blantyre is a three-hour drive from Lilongwe. Early Wednesday morning, a convoy of the singer’s staff set off from their luxury lodge for the scenic drive across country.
Madonna did not go with them. The 50-year-old had another important commitment that morning – her two-hour workout under the tutelage of Josh, the personal trainer she has also brought with her.
She caught up with her staff by private jet later that day. Madonna chartered a plane to fly up from South Africa to make the short return hop to Blantyre.
The cost to fly the plane to Lilongwe alone would have been around £10,000. Would the three-hour drive in her luxury Toyota landcruiser have been so onerous? Clearly it would.
If Madonna were in Malawi on a private visit, you might say, well, good luck to her. But Madonna is here in the capacity of her self-appointed role as saviour of Malawi (although whether she feels so warmly towards the country at this moment is another matter).
Yet she remains utterly oblivious to the reality around her. She has been cocooned in a bubble of super-celebrity for 25 years and she is out of touch. Naturally, she flew by private jet from New York to Malawi.
In this of all places, her flashy behaviour is unbecoming; the opposite, in fact, of the quiet dignity of the Malawian people, many of whose priority each day is simply to find food for their families.
In the rural areas, women walk miles each day to collect water; back in the luxury lodge which she has hired out in its entirety for the week.
Madonna, in contrast, has been enjoying a glass of two of fine claret in the evenings.
She has flown in nine bottles of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2000 – priced at a very modest $90 a bottle.
On Monday, when Madonna met Yohane Banda, David’s father, reports say she was wearing a Chanel lounge-suit – £1,150 velour jacket and £850 trousers. (David’s first words to his father were: ‘Hello, who are you?’)
Does she ever pause to consider what impression she is making, whizzing around the place by private jet or in huge convoys, with her retinue of adoring staff and her tough-guy Israeli bodyguards?
Probably not. The annual wage of Yohane Banda, growing onions and tomatoes, is about £50, and that is not at all unusual in rural areas. In other words, he earns in a year not much less than you’d pay for a nice bottle of Chateau Lafitte.
and later visit to Home of Hope orphanage in Mchinji where she found David Banda:
The singer is for ever going on about how she won’t let David lose touch with his Malawian roots, and on Tuesday she took him to the Home of Hope orphanage in Mchinji, 75 miles from Lilongwe, where he was placed after Yohane’s wife died following complications from childbirth.
Inside the orphanage, some other children asked David: ‘Muli bwanji? – the traditional Malawian greeting in Chichewa, the local language, which means: ‘How are you?’ The usual response to this is: ‘Tili bwino (I’m fine)’.
David did not understand. Madonna apologised, saying they would not need a translator next time and, indeed, the whole family would by then speak Chichewa.
But will there be a next time? David has a woman tutor with him in Malawi – one of the posse which includes an assistant, a nanny, the bodyguards and the personal trainer – who is teaching him French. But not Chichewa.
Finally, Clarke also asks the most important question, the I’ve been thinking about a lot. “Disastrous shopping trip.” I like that:
So what now will happen to Mercy, the unwitting victim of Madonna’s disastrous shopping expedition to adopt a second child from Malawi?
All this past week she’s been spoilt and pampered, and introduced to her ‘brothers’ David, three, and Rocco, eight, and ‘sister’ Lourdes, 12.
I wonder how Rocco and Lourdes are feeling about now?
Daily Mail columnist Sandra Parsons didn’t cut Madonna any mercy either. In The one word that Madonna had hear – No she writes:
It is said that she supports up to 25,000 of Malawi’s orphans and has contributed generously to the country. Good for her. But money can’t buy you love and it certainly shouldn’t be allowed to buy you a child.
For the past few years I, like countless other people in Britain, have supported a child in Malawi, through the charity World Vision.
My money goes towards her education and helping her village support itself with sustainable farming.
Lyness is 12. She sends occasional letters, together with drawings of her family’s hut where she lives in her village, and I receive school and medical reports charting her progress.
But I would no more dream of demanding to whisk her back here than I would of insisting on drinking Kabbalah water at £45 a case or going to bed slathered in moisturiser and wearing a plastic body suit (reportedly one of Madonna’s beauty habits that sent Guy Ritchie into a separate bedroom).
I’m sure Madonna will not be able to understand for a moment why her application to adopt four-year-old Mercy has been refused. She will no doubt think she is being victimised.
The tragedy is that it will not occur to her for one moment to step back and see herself as others see her: a deluded, vain woman who is terrified of growing old, who believes that her money and her fame entitle her to anything she wants.
How bitterly ironic that it has taken a judge in one of the world’s poorest countries to say the word that Madonna doesn’t hear nearly enough: no.
I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see an unbamboozled press dragging Madonna and by consequence the international adoption industry through the wringer. Will the US press be as unkind?