Model Lourdes Leon called her mother, pop star Madonna, a "control freak" in her latest interview. The 24-year-old expanded on her previous comments that she had to pay for her own college tuition, noting that there were no handouts in her family. Despite being the daughter of one of the most famous singers in the world, Leon said her mother never wanted her children to be like other celebrity children.
"We don't get any handouts in my family. Obviously, I grew up with extreme privilege. There's no denying that," Leon told Interview Magazine. "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.'" Leon is Madonna's only child with Carlos Leon, whom she dated from 1995 to 1997. Madonna has five other children, Rocco Ritchie, 21; David Banda, 16; Estere and Stelle Ciccone, 9; and Mercy James, 15.
Leon believes that if "your parents pay for things, then it gives them leverage over you," she said. "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."
While Madonna, 63, didn't give her daughter financial help, Leon said she did receive some words of wisdom that she will not forget. "I've been so concerned with making a decent living, and wanting to live more luxuriously than I was when I first graduated and wasn't earning a lot of money," Leon recalled. "She was like, 'Remember, this s- 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."
Madonna also told her daughter to be careful when entering the public eye as a model. She noted how "very overwhelming" the profession can be since she relies on her looks. "Obviously, you're not going to look the same your whole life," Leon told Interview Magazine. "My mom is very insistent on making me think about what I want to be known for beyond my looks. That's not what I want people to remember me by. It's not real."
Leon's Interview Magazine interview wasn't the first time she pointed out her independence from her mom. In August, she told Vogue she rejected the label of "talentless tich kid" and said she paid for her college tuition on her own. She also said she has an interest in dancing and is not getting lessons from her mother.
Madonna recently released Madame X: Music from the Theater Xperience, a live album that includes music from her Maxame X tour concert movie. The film was released on Paramount+ on Sept. 23. The tour featured songs from her 2019 album Madame X.