Their marriage was drenched in artifice, and ultimately doomed. “The last thing I thought I would do is marry some laddish shooting pub-going nature lover,” Madonna once said. But wed Guy Ritchie—and the posh British lifestyle he affected—she did, biographer Andrew Morton writes in the Daily Beast. But what really killed the couple wasn’t dress-up fakery but Ritchie’s lost edge.
The Material Girl could handle playing pretend, going from “dominatrix to dowager” on her country estate. She could even forgive Ritchie his carefully concealed upper-class ties. Madonna has constantly surrounded herself with upward-movers. In 1999, that included hot director Ritchie, but after Swept Away bombed, that wasn’t the case. She “can live with fake,” Morton explains. “But not with failure.”