The Empress Strikes Back

Madonna, facing criticism about her new son, comes out swinging

On Oct. 12, Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, were granted temporary custody of a 13-month-old Malawian orphan named David Banda. This sparked a storm of accusations, ranging from the criminal — that Madonna used her fame to bypass adoption procedures — to the scathing: that Madonna is a dilettante, treating an African child as this season's must-have accessory. The legal issue has been laid to rest — no laws were violated — but Madonna still had plenty to get off her chest in a rare print interview with TIME's Josh Tyrangiel.

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