To its surprise, the Transom ran into designer Christopher Ciccone—SMACK!—outside the Rouge Wine Bar at Paris Commune in the West Village. Madonna’s short, paunchy but sensual brother had flown in from London early that evening and was flying to Los Angeles the following morning—part of the whirlwind press tour surrounding his book, Life With My Sister Madonna (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, $26).
Wearing jeans, black sneakers, a tight black T-shirt and a veil of cinnamon-inflected cologne, he was there to see aspiring Broadway star (and dear friend) Ryan Raftery’s one-man show, Ryan Raftery and Friends: A Solo Act.
“There are plenty of things I left out of the book, and things that the lawyers and editors took out,” Mr. Ciccone said. The thing he said he’d fought hardest for was the title. “I wanted it to be called The Queen and I,” he said. “They said it was too snarky. I still don’t know what that word means.”
In the book, Mr. Ciccone describes an incident at a nightclub in which he breaks up a fight between one of Mr. Ciccone’s gay pals, who had been sexy-dancing with the Queen, and a frothing Guy Ritchie, her Madgesty’s husband.
“I’m not a violent person,” he said. “And I don’t really care about Guy. I see him as a current distraction.”
Mr. Ciccone, who for years designed the look of Madonna’s concerts and mansion palaces, now lives in Los Angeles, where he’s currently at work on a “totally raw, design-based reality show.”
He said that his sister had responded to news that he was at work on a book with a frantic e-mail that read, “Call me.”
“Hello? I don’t respond to commands anymore,” he said. She then apparently called their father, who, Mr. Ciccone said, also has long since stopped taking orders from the Queen. “I will admit to a guilty pleasure in watching her squirm,” he added. (Madonna’s rep didn’t return calls by presstime.)
Was writing the book like removing a giant weight from his shoulders?
“No, it was like a giant fucking orgasm,” he said, exhaling a large gust of smoke. “Therapy I already had; this was pure sex.”
Besides the book and the reality show, Mr. Ciccone has written a feature film that he hopes to direct. He also has a singer named Julien he’s been managing, and some ideas for a Broadway show, which may or may not include Mr. Raftery.
Of his friend’s show, he said, “I think it’s good; he needs direction.” Like he’d done so many times for his sister, he planned to bestow some words of advice on this young performer. He said that years ago he’d taught Mr. Raftery to dance. “All great talent needs managing.”
Mr. Ciccone said he also has plans for a follow-up book about the “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll” period of his own life, which occurred between 1994 and 2004, documented with dirty Polaroids.
What’s the best picture? “I can’t tell you that!” he said.
He agreed to describe the fifth-best Polaroid, which depicts him in a squatting position, wearing 8-inch blue and white striped platforms and no pants. “All you can see is my ass,” he said, “and the platforms, and the tattoo wrapping around my leg.” Yep, he’s her brother!
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