Lourdes Leon Says Madonna Was A Strict Mom

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Madonna was a strict mother who didn’t believe in giving her children free money, according to her eldest daughter Lourdes Leon.

“We don’t get any handouts in my family,” the 25-year-old said in a conversation for Interview. “Obviously, I grew up with extreme privilege. 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.’”

In addition to Leon, whose father is Madonna’s ex Carlos Leon, Madonna has 21-year-old son Rocco (with ex-husband, director Guy Ritchie) and five adopted children ranging in age from nine to 16.

Leon said Madonna had locks on her clothes closets and didn’t let her children watch television. “The list of things I wasn’t allowed to do is never-ending,” she said.

Leon, who works as a model, said she paid her own college tuition – and was happy to do so.

“I feel like if your parents pay for things, then it gives them leverage over you,” she explained. “My mom is such a control freak, and she has controlled me my whole life. I needed to be completely independent from her as soon as I graduated high school.”

The “Material Girl” icon gave her daughter some sage advice. Leon recalled: “She was like, ‘Remember, this s**t 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.”

Leon said she inherited one of her famous mom’s talents (“I can sing. I just don’t care about it,” she said. “Maybe it’s too close to home.”) but prefers house and techno to pop – but no longer cringes when she hears a Madonna song.

“My experience with my mom’s music has changed so much as I’ve gotten older, because I’m increasingly able to recognize how influential and amazing this woman is, and how empowering to other women and ahead of her time she has always been,” said Leon. “I didn’t fully comprehend that until I realized the importance of empowerment and what it means to be a woman. She’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever seen.

“I didn’t inherit that, unfortunately. I inherited her control issues, but not her work ethic.”

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