Madonna’s Brother Is A Homeless Man

500px-Madonna_en_ChelseaMadonna's older brother is living under a bridge in Traverse City, MI.

"My family turned their back on me, basically, when I was having a hard time," the 55-year-old Anthony Ciccone told The Michigan Messenger. "You think I haven’t answered this kind of question a bazillion times — why my sister is a multibazillionarie, and I’m homeless on the street?"

Ciccone doesn't mention the nature of his "hard time," nor does he explain why he lost his job at his dad's winery last year. He does say that he suffered from frostbite during his first winter on the streets, and recounts how another homeless man, a friend, lost ten toes to the cold.

"Never say never," says Ciccone. "This could happen to anybody."

It's 47 degrees Fahrenheit in Traverse City this evening, and falling.



    Let’s try this again. I agree with Franco. It’s no Madonna’s responsibility. And I doubt she wants to. So, don’t expect any kind of intervention. I’m really sad you disallow my belligerent posts. I think they’re pretty funny.

  2. yonquersconquers says

    You two make odd poster boys for conservative family values: unless heartlessness and sibling selfishness are promoted in your homes as virtues.

    She’s richer than Croesus. She can afford to find him an apartment in the midwest. She really should. He’s her brother.

  3. ynot says

    We don’t know the full story of what his problems are. She may have helped him in the past, and he certainly doesn’t need to sleep under a bridge. There are shelters where people can go. Maybe he would just drink, drug or gamble any financial help away. We just don’t know, but if it were her other brother – I would say let him freeze.

  4. juan says

    it’s so easy to judge when u don’t know the whole story. my first reaction to this was ” it’s unbelievable that madonna’s brother is homeless. she is so heartless. ” but then i rememberes her brother from truth or dare. he is an alcoholic. trust me, and i’m speaking as a recovering alcoholic addict. no matter what u do for someone, they r not going to get better until they themselves want to get better. it’s an awful disease that destroys everything that is good around u. my family loves me to death, but by the end of my last relapse they were just so tired, betrayed and hurt for every thing that i had done to them that i can understand a father firing his own son. the things that i’ve and so many addicts have put r family true are horrific. my family gave me a home, food, money and cars and that in some ways only helped me to feed my addiction further. please don’t judge madonna, not bcause of some silly thing like ” she’s the queen of pop ” but bcause she and her family, specially her father, r human being that have dealt with and r dealing with one of the most pernicious and poisonous illnesses that has ever existed.

  5. atomic says

    Regardless of what they might have to say, “ZOMG Natalie Tran” is a known troll that should be permanently banned from commenting on any story here. They regularly post anti-gay comments that are intended to incite anger. I don’t like censorship but that kind of hate speech just for shits and giggles is puerile and makes me wonder if this person is just a pimply-faced self-loathing teenager living in their parent’s basement with nothing better to do in life than visit a gay blog and try to irritate people, just because they’re obviously so miserable themselves.

  6. Ricco says

    It is not so difficult to pass judgment having none of the pertinent facts, and only the brother’s very broad accusation. No real interview, with probing questions was conducted.

    If it was only last year that Anthony Ciccone had a job in his family’s winery, which means he has, besides Madonna, other family members, then it seems likely that there is much more to this story.

    But generally speaking I have lived long enough to observe a tendency toward stinginess and cold disregard of others in those who have attained great wealth.

    And the whole world has seen that this very talented woman can be quite pretentious and shallow, one moment playing house and cultivating a silly British accent, the next divorced and humping on Jesus, seemingly incapable of sustaining a relationship. She is like a little girl in an aging woman’s body who still cannot sort herself out, who she is, which is why she is always reinventing herself.

    Yeah, I would say that there is a lot more to this story.

  7. say what says

    she can send him a red wrist ribbon and a bottle of magic kabalah water

    “snark” (for the snark impaired)

    she should at least set up a small account that he can only touch the interest and never the principal then she can wish him well and he can do whatever

    After of course paying to have him checked over by doctors


    I am not a troll. I do not make anti-gay comment nor do I support their sentiment. I am however callous and uncaring, usually. I have compassion. I have understanding. I just didn’t realize that THOSE kinds of comments are the ONLY ones supported by this site. It gets kind of boring after a while to see the same sentiment over and over, rehashed again and again. Why can we not debate on something without having to preface it with “I feel terrible but?” Why can’t we just be honest?

  9. starquisha says

    Know who Joe Henry is? Recording “Don’t Tell Me” provided FAR more than most any other sister can offer another. (do the research) I can’t be the only 1 here who has a relative that has LOST the plot… This is Non-News, why be so quick to condemn someone who has never been anything but supportive to the gay community????

  10. says

    She’s helped him and some of her other siblings, but obviously there is an issue—his own FATHER fired him. I think people just like to believe if someone in a family (regardless of any familial closeness prior) is stinking rich, they divide it up and share. Not how it works.

    But it was nice to use a lovely CONFESSIONS-era shot.

  11. MKe says

    I hope she fixes this. Even if he is the one who wrote books, if you’re crazy and Madonna’s your sister you will write a book… He probably can’t make any financial decisions but she could set something modest up for him.

  12. Jake Netherton says

    Since we don’t know all of the details on this story, I think I’m gonna side with Madonna on this one. A more plausible story would be that her brother sold the house that Madonna bought him so he could buy drugs and booze. He drank bottles of wine out of his dads winery, showed up late for work every single day, and now he feels entitled to more money from his sister. If Madonna bailed him out, AGAIN, history would repeat itself…… AGAIN.

  13. Lazycrockett says

    Set him up in a one bedroom and give him a booze allowance and let him drink himself to death in peace if that what he wants to do. $2000.00 a month should cover it.

  14. JeffNYC says

    He’s not the one who wrote the book about here. Their brother Christopher Ciccone is the one who wrote the book.

    Sometimes families get tired of giving someone $2000/month. Sometimes the $2000/month is only used to make things worse.

    Sometimes you have to walk away.

  15. JCMS says

    To YNOT and others – You are not remembering “Truth or Dare” correctly. Anthony is not Madonna’s brother who was just let out of rehab in the movie and then showed up drunk after her show. That was Marty, another older brother who had hoped to ride Madonna’s coattails to an acting career, but failed. This one, Anthony, has not been in the limelight to my knowledge. It’s a sad story, but it’s not her responsibility to take care of him. He’s an adult. In fact he’s middle-aged. How he could screw up a job working for his father suggests his problems are probably pretty bad.

  16. Matt F says

    I may not be a billionaire, but have helped my sister, who suffers from a mental issue, too many times to count. She is currently in a psychiatric hospital in Asheville. I have done everything I can money-wise for the last 12 years and absolutely no progress on her part as far as recovery. This includes stints in Vermont and Harvard in Boston. I have to be on Madonna’s side on this…money is not the issue. I’m at my wit’s end!!

  17. johnosahon says

    just because she is rich does not mean she should be “wasting” money on someone who may not deserve the help, the money should be spent on people like the students in her school in Africa who are properly using the opportunity.

    Now, i don’t know what is going on between her and her family nor do i care, maybe she is a wicked sister, or maybe she has helped him so much, but some how he STILL ends up in the street, again don’t know and don’t care.

    Lets turn it the other way, how can your sister be Madonna, and you ended up in the street? what did you do with that opportunity?

  18. Paul R says

    I won’t recount all the experience I have with the disease of alcoholism and drug abuse, but it’s extensive. After a while you have to cut the cord. Madonna was almost certainly aware that this would be publicized, but I respect her decision to give up and let her loved one be in the media, and hopefully get better on his own.

    Even without the media, it’s hard as hell, especially when people expect you to support their disease because you have money and they don’t. I’ve done it, and it was pointless.

  19. Tone says

    So many families seem to need an “other” to distract them from the overall dysfunction in their relationships. I should know, I’m the pariah in mine.

    Anyway,I never was much of a fan. Even in Madonna’s heyday I never bought her records.

  20. Morgan says

    “…why my sister is a multibazillionarie, and I’m homeless on the street?”

    Boo-freakin’ hoo! My sister’s rich, so I shouldn’t have to take responsibility for my actions. So if my sister makes more than I do, does that mean when I’m behind on a bill or two, she should pay it?

    This guy has 7 siblings! He must have some pretty bad issues if nobody will help him, not even his father. You can bet they all tried to help him at some point and he went back to his old ways.

    You can have all the money in the world, but if the person you want to help doesn’t want to get better, then there’s nothing you can do for them.

    All this is speculation though, we don’t know the whole story.

  21. Josh says

    I don’t care if your brother is an alcoholic or doens’t get along with you! An appt in Detroit is very cheap! Madonna has turned into this cold queen and has been for a very long time! Family is family particulartly italians family members…Her Dead Mother would be so very VERY proud! Madonna is so yesterday! When was the last time she did anything for the LGBT Community?

  22. V-8 says

    Michigan is a very large state, and the distance between Traverse City and Detroit are a 5 hour drive….. the myth of the $5,000 house in Detroit is just that. you can get that property but you need to invest about $50,000 to make it livable…

    I spent a week in Traverse City this summer, a beautiful place, at a $300 a night hotel, I’d say 3.5 stars…. that is not a place to live… I saw an artist studio, about 10×15 feet renting for $1200 a month, off season…. so again, not a cheap place…

    for what I understand Madonna set her father up with the Winery, a beautiful but very understated property. there are probably way richer families in that area actually, than her father and maybe even her (there is tons of old money in Michigan)…

    it is not her fault that her brother went down this path (I also suspect an addiction of some kind)…. she is one of the middle-to-younger children of the family, why should she be responsible for them all? I am sure she helps them without telling everyone about it, as she does tons of charitable contributions to a million causes in silence as well (unlike other celebrities)….

    people need to be responsible for themselves, even addicts, even the siblings of the rich… nobody owes anyone anything, including Madonna to her family and us (the public)…

  23. V-8 says

    on the second paragraph I meant to write “that is not a cheap place to live” referring to Traverse City… it is a gorgeous resort town, a touristy place, with expensive stuff…

  24. Eddie says

    …”Intensely selfish people are always very decided as to what they wish. They do not waste their energies in considering the good of others.”

    — Ouida, ‘Wanda’

  25. says

    Really? People are actually feeling sorry for this guy? Look – the guy is homeless for a reason. Madonna would be an enabler if she “set her brother up”. Any professional psychologist would tell you that this is about him having to hit “rock bottom” before he decided to change and not one bit of that has anything to do with his sister. Madonna could give him every penny she had and the guy would piss it away and ask for more.

  26. Mikey says

    My brothers partner lives in San Fran and is supported by his parents for the last 20 years because of mental issues and just plain being lazy. They still work in their 80’s because of him and he thinks it is great. We have the money to help, but then we would be on the hook for the next 40 years. No amount of convincing his folks that they need to let him go homeless will help, but when they are gone, he will be in big trouble. And no, I don’t feel guilty. He won’t help himself

  27. rjp3 says

    Wow — what scum bags read and post on this blog.

    If you are a MULTI-MILLIONARE – in a time when you can buy a condo in South Florida for $60K … you best be buying your homeless brother a home or you are scum in the eyes of most people.

    Oh there will be other scum who will defend you and say “law of the jungle” not her responsibility … but honestly they only shame themselves…. if it is drugs or mental illness even more reason to be there for him.

  28. Major707 says

    Obviously there are posters here that have never had the opportunity to assist an addicted family member. We have, with new cars, clothes, rent and living allowance….. Car totaled, allowance and furnishings sold for booze and smokes. Now in his thirties and hasn’t EVER held a job….oh and we paid for three schools. We decided tough love was the only thing we hadn’t tried…..but he is milking other family members now! Very sad, but until he decides to change nothing else is going to work. Not a Madonna fan, but can’t fault her on this one.

  29. Chitown Kev says

    My first instinct (as a recovering alcoholic and drug addict myself) is that Madge has probably tried to help and has probably sent him to the best rehabs that money could buy but if he’s not ready, then Madge would not be doing him a favor by even renting out a small apartment to him.

    I am sure there is far more to the story than this.

  30. christian clouser says

    I have been a Madonna Fan for the past thirty years,and as most have posted,we are not getting the full story here.I know Madonna can be a hard ass,but as her brother christopher’s Book show’s,you can only help so much.I do not condone letting a relative be on the streets,as I ave been in this situation myself, but Madonna’s brother has to take steps to help himself as well.

  31. Tony says

    This is really a private matter. How is this news? Designed to embarrass Madonna and/or her siblings? So we are supposed to get judgmental here about something that is strictly personal? Shame on the media for even reporting this story. The media obviously lack standards.

  32. David says

    Martin is the brother from “Truth Or Dare,” not Anthony.

    For all we know, Madonna has offered to help Anthony in the past, and he’s continued to drink. Enabling someone who refuses to change their behavior does nothing. If Madonna’s father fired Anthony, there’s obviously something wrong—with Anthony. Fixing her brother isn’t Madonna’s problem, nor would it work.

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