The Truth About Lourdes Leon's Tense Relationship With Her Mom Madonna

The Material Girl became a mom a quarter of a century ago when Lourdes Leon was born on Oct. 14, 1996. After a failed marriage to actor Sean Penn in the '80s, Madonna didn't look for anyone to put a ring on her finger when she had Leon with fitness instructor Carlos Leon. 

Although that relationship didn't last, Madonna went on to marry again in 2000 and raise five more children. After marrying film director Guy Ritchie, Madonna had son Rocco, and they adopted David Banda from Malawi. That marriage ended in 2008, but Madonna adopted three more girls from Malawi afterwards: Mercy, Estere, and Stelle (via Biography).

Leon, who was nicknamed Lola soon after she was born, grew up in a large blended family with one of the most famous entertainers in the world as her mom. At times, their relationship may have been contentious. Yet, other times, Leon defended Madonna to people who thought they knew her. 

Now with a modeling career of her own, Leon is able to look back on her relationship with Madonna and take some of the advice she's been given to heart.

Lourdes Leon found Madonna to be controlling

In a chat with Interview, Lourdes Leon revealed that she grew up with a very strict set of rules, including not being allowed to watch TV. "The list of things I wasn't allowed to do was never-ending," she told Interview, which led her to want to branch out on her own and spread her wings as soon as she graduated from high school. She even paid for her own college tuition.

"We don't get any handouts in my family. Obviously, I grew up with extreme privilege," Leon said (via Interview). "There's no denying that. But I think my mom saw all these other kids of famous people, and she was like, 'My kids are not going to be like this.'" She added" Also, I feel like if your parents pay for things, then it gives them leverage over you. My mom is such a control freak, and she has controlled me my whole life."

Lourdes Leon takes her mother's advice to heart

Despite the independent streak that led Lourdes Leon to leave home after high school, she still clearly loves her mom and her siblings, telling Interview that she argues with her brothers while she adores her sisters. 

"It's funny, the only siblings that I ever really argue with are the boys," she said. "They're just little ass***** sometimes. A 15- or 20-year-old brother? Come on. Obviously we're going to fight." Leon added: "But Mercy and I have never fought about anything. She's always had my back and I've always tried to be the best big sister I can be for her. It's harder with the twins, because I don't live at the house anymore."

She may no longer live with Madonna, but, as a 25-year-old, she respects the advice her mother has given her over the years. "She said something to me recently that has really stuck with me," Leon told Interview. "I've been so concerned with making a decent living, and wanting to live more luxuriously than I was when I first graduated and wasn't earning a lot of money. She was like, 'Remember, this s*** is not real. It's not about the money or your face or how hot you look. It's about what you're bringing into the world and what you're going to leave behind.' That always shakes me awake when I get too caught up in everything."

Sage advice from the Material Girl herself.