(FILES) This file photo taken on November 30, 2014 shows US pop superstar Madonna sitting among Malawian children during a visit to the Mkoko Primary School, one of the schools Madonna’s Raising Malawi organization has built jointly with US organization BuildOn in the Kasungu District, Central Malawi. Madonna on January 25, 2017 applied in person at a court in the Malawian capital Lilongwe to adopt two more local children, a court spokesman told AFP. Madonna, who visited the southern African nation last year to inspect work by her charity Raising Malawi, adopted Malawian children David Banda in 2006 and Mercy James in 2009. PHOTO: AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP
US pop superstar Madonna on Wednesday denied applying to adopt two more Malawian children while visiting the country where she runs a charity, and where she has previously been embroiled in controversy.
An official at the High Court in the capital Lilongwe had earlier told local and international reporters that the court was assessing her application to adopt two local children.
Madonna, who set up children’s charity Raising Malawi in the poverty-stricken southern African nation in 2006, adopted Malawian children David Banda in 2006 and Mercy James in 2009.
Local media reports said the singer had appeared at the court on Wednesday, accompanied by two unidentified children, before being driven away in an SUV vehicle.
“I am in Malawi to check on the children’s hospital in Blantyre and my other work with Raising Malawi and then heading home,” Madonna told US magazine People in a statement.
“The rumours of an adoption process are untrue.”
Lilongwe High Court spokesman Mlenga Mvula, who had said that Madonna had applied to adopt two children, was not immediately available to comment after her denial.
Madonna’s charity is funding a surgical unit for children at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Blantyre, the commercial hub of Malawi.
The 58-year-old singer last visited the hospital in July, taking her two adopted Malawian children with her.
– Adoption controversy –
The star was stripped of VIP status by former president Joyce Banda’s government in 2013 and accused of being “uncouth” and wanting eternal gratitude from the country for her adoptions.
But Banda was ousted in 2014 elections and the new president, Peter Mutharika, moved to repair relations, saying “my government has always been grateful for the passion Madonna has for this country”.
Last July, Madonna said she would not revive plans for a $15 million (14 million euro) academy for girls in Malawi, which was cancelled amid allegations of mismanagement — leading to her tiff with Banda.
The singer, who divorced film director Guy Ritchie in 2008, has four children.
On Saturday, she made an unannounced appearance in Washington at a rally protesting against US President Donald Trump a day after his inauguration.
Madonna had campaigned for Hillary Clinton to become America’s first woman president, and told Billboard Magazine after the Democrat’s loss that women had a “tribal inability” to accept a female president.