Madonna posts pic of son Rocco, 13, holding bottle of gin: what was she thinking?


Madonna’s been out of the country with her family in Switzerland for the holidays, and she’s been Instagramming the whole vacation. As someone who’s waking up in sub-zero temps today, I can’t imagine voluntarily heading to a snow-filled place for fun. To each their own, right?

Madge has been posting lots of pics of her children having fun on their winter vacay. She’s been skiing with Lourdes, David, and Mercy. Recent boytoy Brahim Zaibat has been conspicuously missing from this set of photos, which is amusing because he always looked like another one of Madge’s kids. Here’s the real controversy though: Madonna posted the above photo of Rocco holding a bottle of gin. I guess it’s a picture from New Year’s Eve (Madge is posting it late) because the caption reads, “The party has just begun! Bring it! 2014.”

Naturally the comments on this photo are full of outrage. Rocco is 13 years old. Even though the drinking age in Switzerland is 16, he doesn’t even qualify to partake there. Plus it’s not like he’s clutching a beverage like Mike’s Hard Lemonade in his hand or even champagne. Rocco is holding Bombay Sapphire! That stuff is pretty hardcore even for seasoned adults because it’s 94 proof (47% alc/volume). Back when I was a more regular drinker, I loved making gin & tonics with Bombay Sapphire because it was SO effective.

About 24 hours after Madonna posted the offending photo, she followed up on Instagram with a weak “No one was drinking we were just having fun! Calm down and get a sense of humor! Don’t start the year off with judgement!” Was this really just a “fun” picture, or is Madge trying to be the ultimate cool mom? I’ve heard of parents rationalizing their kids drinking at home to avoid greater evils, but c’mon. Rocco is 13. He’s a kid who needs his mom to act like a mom. Madonna needs to grow the eff up.



Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & Madonna on Instagram

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87 Responses to “Madonna posts pic of son Rocco, 13, holding bottle of gin: what was she thinking?”

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  1. Sloane Wyatt says:

    Madonna must’ve been drunk and not thinking, not even a tiny little bit.

    This seems so out of character for a mom who didn’t let her kids watch TV.

    • FingerBinger says:

      She doesn’t let her kids watch TV, but people were so quick to believe she would let her kids drink. Makes sense.

      • MelissaMelissa says:

        If prohibiting television in a child’s life is aimed to do some sort of good, I think it would be largely annulled by posting a picture of that child holding a bottle of alcohol in one of the most popular social media venues currently known to mankind.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        I disagree, MelissaMelissa.

        Banning television has given her children a leg up on life that one photo won’t negate. Downloading select shows without all the hours of trash on the tube allows children to use their imagination and find more beneficial ways to pass their leisure time. Sports, reading, hobbies, hanging out, etc. are all, IMO, preferable to using the TV as a babysitter.

        Maybe Madge posted it online herself because she knew it was due to hit the net anyway and wanted to have some control over the resulting narrative.

      • janie says:

        What’s going on with her face? I see the grill, but she looks like a witch? What has she done?

      • MMRMB says:

        madge buys grill and wears it. all artists under the age of 25 sigh collectively and put them their newly minted grills in the “save for pawn when i’m 30 pile…. dammit madge ” bitch made them uncool”

  2. ANDREA1 says:

    George Clooney was right when he said Celebrities shouldn’t join the social media.. It brings out the stupidity in them.. Le sigh

    • Ice Maiden says:


      If I was a celeb (other than perhaps a journalist or writer) I wouldn’t go near Twitter. The potential for extreme embarrassment – and much worse – is just too great. One unwise tweet sent off when you were drunk, upset or simply not thinking, and you could cause a mini-crisis.

      Best not to go there in the first place.

    • lucy2 says:

      Agreed – I think it’s fine for promoting your work or charity projects or something, but keep the private life private. Especially if there are kids involved.

    • Decloo says:

      Oh my God! I never knew Madonna was the mother of the Karate Kid!

  3. MelissaMelissa says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Madonna’s music but I could never warm up to her. I know she’s 50-something and still dancing and singing and that’s admirable. She reinvents herself and according to Wikipedia has retained “standard of autonomy within the recording industry.” But her most of her recent antics (something she is widely admired for) have always been very forced on to me.

    There’s nothing funny or cute or cool about a child holding a big bottle of gin. What’s the point if he’s not going to drink it? What’s the point if his age doesn’t allow him to drink it? He might as well be holding a pack of cigarettes or a bag of coke.

  4. Ice Maiden says:

    Rocco is rather young to be hitting the bottle, but I will say he has great taste in gin.

    Bombay Sapphire is good stuff!

    • PoliteTia says:

      When Madonna got pregnant NO ONE on the planet said ‘Wow! She will be a great mom” The big question was/is “Who, on EARTH, would have un-protected sex with Madonna?”
      Poor kid! ever think that maybe he needs a drink? Madonna needs to learn her GREATEST accomplishment is her childre and NOT re-inventing herself and ANNOYING the universe.

  5. Sachi says:

    Are we sure Rocco actually drank that alcohol he’s holding?

    Unless Madonna posted a photo of her son chugging that bottle down like a pro, I’d say they were just having fun and posing around. Assuming the worst right away seems a bit silly. There’s nothing to suggest that Rocco was definitely drinking or that Madonna encouraged her son to drink.

    People pose with a lot of stuff that’s just for that purpose: posing. I’ve seen people showing off game consoles, jewelries, designer bags, etc. only to find out that they were just taking the photo so they could say they got to touch something expensive. Or some people posing outside stores like Chanel or Versace as if they’ve been shopping there but it’s all for show.

    • Esmom says:

      No I don’t think we’re sure he drank it but the fact that Madonna posted something like that is the real issue. My 13 year old is on Instagram (I am too just so I can follow him) and he’s already feeling like many of his peers are growing up too fast. Seeing this image at such a vulnerable age would only add to his confusion and bewilderment, I think. And I could see some kids his age thinking she was encouraging underage drinking, even if she’s not. She really does need to “grow the eff up.”

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I agree. Whether or not he was drinking, the photo promotes underage drinking as desirable, and that’s wrong.

      • Sachi says:

        Rocco’s Instagram has photos of him actually drinking days before, and Madonna’s photo now looks tame in comparison. Rocco’s other photos show someone who already knows how to party hard at a young age.

        I’ve seen the “Rich Kids of Instagram” Tumblr page and Rocco doesn’t seem very different from the kids featured on that website. Rocco is just younger by a few years but all of these wealthy kids are very spoiled, live lifestyles of such luxury and excess, and they have no problem posting on Instagram the many photos of themselves bathing in expensive champagne, posing with giant Moët or Veuve Clicquot bottles, or a photo of their tab at a bar that often costs a whopping $50,000 a night. It’s unbelievable.

        That Tumblr page is very popular and many teens are on Tumblr and Instagram, so it’s not that far off to think that Rocco posting photos of himself drinking is in line with the other rich kids showing off their pampered lives. Many of these rich kids wouldn’t be this confident bragging about their lifestyles if it’s considered unacceptable or if they have no audience.

        I agree with you, Esmom, that the photo was in poor taste and that the image itself is not positive. I take back what I said earlier. Apologies. 🙂

      • Esmom says:

        Thanks Sachi, your apology is unnecessary but much appreciated. I cannot believe the Tumblr page you are describing, ick. I guess kids that age are drinking even here in my little town. People say that any teen walking around with a water or Gatorade bottle surely has it filled with booze.

        I’m not delusional or clueless when I say my kids are not yet there. I know it’s on the horizon though. In the meantime it boggles my mind to think how far apart my son, with his instagram images of nature and nerf hoops and vacation snaps, is from Rocco in terms of not just lifestyle but but general, overall innocence.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Drinking doesn’t have to on the horizon. Neither of my kids have been drunk but both have tasted a few things — all with me present. But I would never post a pic of my kids posing with alcohol as it can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Madonna IS being irresponsible as we adults can see shades of grey but many young kids/teens cannot.

      • Esmom says:

        LadySlippers, thank you for the encouraging words. Between all the beer ads on TV (my kids are big sports fans) and talk amongst parents about drinking and drugs in and around school I’ve sort of become resigned to the idea that my kids may one day start doing the same because it’s just so culturally ingrained. Thanks for reminding me to give my kids the benefit of the doubt and not assume they will automatically make bad choices. 🙂

      • LadySlippers says:

        My kids shock the h^ll outa me with some of their incredibly mature decisions! So no worries. Lol. I know they’ll make bad decision (who doesn’t?) but I hope they continue to shock me with their good decisions. 🙂
        Also, being in with a crowd that doesn’t worship mind altering substances help. A lot. Both my kids are band geeks and are in the IB program (oldest) and pre-IB program (youngest). Peers help out and having mature, college focuses peers is always a bonus.

      • Esmom says:

        LadySlippers, my kids are band geeks, too! And busy and involved with sports and other activities. So we’re on the right track. Plus I’m reassured by the company they keep, most of whom look at the “fast” crowd less with longing than with disdain.

        But seriously it seems like more and more kids “worship mind altering substances,” maybe thanks in part to celebs like Miley who glamorize them. It’s nice to hear of some who don’t. Thanks.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I think it’s the media’s fault for focusing in on teens/young adults like Miley. There are tons of teens/young adults making great choices. Our kids are a few of many. However, they are less ‘interesting’ than people that push boundaries. Heck, Madonna has made her career out if pushing boundaries — it’s just old after decades of watching her do it. *yawn*

    • the Original Tiffany says:

      In the Daily Fail they have plenty of other pictures and snaps from his IG-they are titled “faded” with he and his buddies holding and drinking more alcohol. There are at least three of these pics from this trip.
      13 year olds who post faded pics with alcohol are drinking. Period.

      • Sachi says:

        Thanks for the info. It is a different scenario altogether now that pics of him actually drinking are involved. Those photos show a boy who seems very comfortable being around that much alcohol. Tsk tsk.

      • Esmom says:

        Call me old fashioned but wow, that just blows my mind. My son is 13 and he and his friends think they’re being extra cool when they can have a Mountain Dew! I know they will soon be interested in alcohol too but in the meantime I am so happy he has enough other interests like sports and music and yes even academics that he’s not out partying like that so young. They have the rest of their lives to drink and only one short window of childhood. Like I said, call me old fashioned. 🙂

      • Peppa says:

        Thinking of a 13 year old “getting faded” makes me sad. I agree with Esmom, 13 year old kids should be enjoying childhood not getting drunk.

      • Hakura says:

        @Esmom – It really sucks that so many of us don’t truly appreciate childhood for what it is, until it’s gone. Personally, my first alcohol experiences were tiny sips of my grandmother’s sweet wine at dinner. As I got older she’d let me have bigger sips =3

        My mom let me try beer when I was 16… & I decided I was never drinking it again. She thought it was hilarious, (me, not so much). In my late 20’s now, I’ve never been into partying, & rarely drink. But when I do, it’s always fruity/sweet cocktails/ect. I’ve never been drunk before! I seem to process the alcohol so quick, I end up feeling really sleepy/tired, instead of getting any positive effects like a buzz. Kinda sucks, but on the over hand, I know I’ll never be an alcoholic. xD

  6. Suze says:

    It’s possible that they all just grabbed bottles of booze and posed (since everyone in the photo looks under 16), but posting the photo was stupid. Or, knowing Madge, maybe it was calculated. Have we been paying enough attention to her lately?

    Lourdes is a great beauty. Just unbelievably luminous.

  7. Jaded says:

    Everything she does is a taunt to society, and only to draw attention to herself.

    • emmie_a says:

      Jaded: Exactly. There is only one reason she posted the pic and that was to get attention.

      Am I the only one who can’t picture her ‘mothering’?? Like I cannot picture her being a mother or acting motherly or anything remotely like that. I’m sure she has mega-help in raising her kids, which is probably a good thing bc she seems entirely self-involved and only concerned with her popularity, her needs, her image. I’m not a fan so I could be totally off here but that’s the vibe I get.

      I’m seeing a lot of Demi Moore-type antics in Madonna’s future. She’ll be dating Lourdes’ boyfriends any day now.

      Madonna’s desperate need to be cool and hip and young just ages her and makes her quite the opposite of everything she’s so dearly trying to hang on to.

  8. mellie says:

    It would be one thing for silly teenagers to post such pics on social media, but for someone’s mother to do so is something else entirely…we get it Madonna, you’re cool, you’re edgy, but you’re also supposed to be a responsible adult, let’s act like one, shall we?!

    • MaiGirl says:

      I can’t wait for Madonnna to stop acting like a thirsty wannabee and act like freaking MADONNA! I mean, I’m not much of a fan, but she has made some decent music over the years, and she is still very, very famous and admired by some people. Why is she pulling cheap stunts that even Kesha would call tired? She can keep making music, touring, and raking in the dough till her back-up dancers have to drag her around the stage marionette-style, and her fans would be fine with it. I truly don’t understand why she has to be so try-hard, and ten bring her poor kids into it!~

    • A Mascarada says:

      Exactly, mellie. Silly teenager posting something like this is one thing. The mother posting is another.

  9. Abbicci says:

    I can’t judge this too harshly.I could mix a Manhattan, a Martini and a Mai Tai like a pro at 12. There are pictures of me at 13 and 14 manning a makeshift bar at my parent’s parties. The internet wasn’t alive then so my parents still got to be my parents. Social services where never called.

    Booze exists. Teenagers are aware of this. The also like to appear older than they are and holding a bottle of booze in a photo seems slightly harmless to me. he wasn;t drinking from it.

  10. Zbornak Syndrome says:

    I abhor the whole “don’t judge me” way of defending actions. Especially when people put details and photos of their personal lives all over social media. It’s ok if everyone hits “like” (that’s also a form of judging), but don’t you dare judge negatively! People have opinions. If you don’t want to hear them all, then be more private or don’t care what they think. However, I judge. I also live my life free to be judged by others.

    • Kate says:

      All good points. You’re not wrong.

    • Peppa says:

      Yeah, I hate that too. I hate when people say don’t judge me for what I put out on social media, especially when it is something offensive or controversial.

  11. phlyfiremama says:

    I think it is just a fun picture. To round it out though he really should be smoking a cigarette and have one of his friends hitting on the bong. Just sayin’… 😉

  12. Kate says:

    I thought she and Brahim officially split and made an announcement? In any case, this and the penis bong confirm that she’s an idiot whose grasping attempt to retain her edginess and youth is making her look quite desperate.

  13. umyeah says:

    Madonna looks like a crazy vampire who sucks on the blood of small children to hold on to her youth.

  14. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Whether he was actually drinking the gin or not, posing with a bottle of alcohol at 13 years old certainly seems like an endorsement of underage drinking.

    Madonna has never struck me as unintelligent but posting this pic as well as her childish response to people who took issue with it is incredibly dumb.

    • Erinn says:

      Are we sure he was drinking? No. Are we sure he wasn’t? No. The fact is, she had these underage kids posing with the bottles then was dumb enough to post it to social media. She’s glorifying drinking to some very young, impressionable kids. In what universe would it make sense to photograph your barely teen kid with a bottle of booze?

      My parents would have the odd cooler or beer in the house. It was rare. And if they were drinking in front of us, it was one or two max. I didn’t start drinking until mid way through my first year of university, a couple months before I turned 19 (our legal age). My closest friends didn’t drink in high school either. It’s not impossible to avoid, and I think the parents play a HUGE roll in how we view alcohol. My parents weren’t really drinkers, my fiance’s have NEVER drank, and my friends parents would be like mine, the odd drink here and there. None of us are alcohol abusers now, though we do enjoy a few drinks occasionally.

    • LadySlippers says:

      I agree that kids take A LOT of cues about life from their parents with drinking only one of many. I drink periodically and drunkeness is rare. I let them taste or have an occasional small glass of wine with dinner. They know it’s a part of life but to treat alcohol with respect. Both my kids would think posing with bottles of alcohol to be weird (unless it’s a super cool label).

      Madonna should get kudos for trying to reduce TV and junk food from her children’s life. However, irresponsibility with alcohol is just as bad as TV and/or junk food. So whatever points she ‘earned’ was totally nullified with this attitude towards drinking.

      • Erinn says:

        I think that’s pretty normal, really. I got the odd tiny glass of wine at Christmas before I was legal (my grandmother of all people insisted), and I’d tasted mom and dads drinks. I think it made a big difference that they were never drunk around us; it wasn’t normal for us to see drunk adults. I appreciate that they did that for us, but at the same time, that was just their lifestyle.

        I have friends who had parents that would throw huge parties and be drunk around them for a good portion of their life, and I always found that sad.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I’ve met people at both extremes and I think any extreme is dangerous. My kids have seen me drunk — I’m not perfect but it’s a pretty rare occurrence. lol (they think me tipsy is pretty funny)
        I remember (or try to) that I’m preparing them to be functional and capable adults which includes a healthy respect for alcohol. And we adults are far from perfect.

  15. Anna says:

    I never believed for a second that she was a “strict mother”. I think that’s what she wanted people to believe (and they did/do) but i think that things were very different from what she portraited. I think the picture is stupid, i don’t mind 13 years old having a half glass of wine or whatever during holidays or big family dinners but the picture is a bit too much

  16. Alina says:

    Ahh Madonna needs attention.

    I´m not up to date, is she still making music?

  17. Palermo says:

    A woman in her mid to late 50s wearing a grill. Do you really think she uses her brain for much of anything?

  18. marina says:

    Like every other 13 year old boy, he looks like a little d-bag.

    • Jayna says:

      LOL I have to say he was a trooper on tour and she put him in like four songs dancing and he worked hard and had a real joy on stage. He’s always been a little ham, though. In one of her last shows of the tour an interviewer she knows from over the years was backstage with her after the show. She was just sitting on the floor talking to him and Rocco kept coming back to hang. She told him to go brush his teeth and had he done his homework. Most kids his age would be all surly, but he was cute about it. And came back again and sat just wanting to hang out with mom and listen to her talk about the tour and seems to really love her.

      • Anna says:

        why wouldn’t he? seems like she pretty much lets them free to do most of the things they want to

  19. Suze says:

    Today I learned that television is worse for kids than booze.

    I’m just sick of hip parents, including most of the hot moms, yummy mummies and delicious daddy-os.

    And, no, you don’t have to be a frump or dowdy or matronly or middleaged once you’re a parent. You can be good looking and cool in your own world, but I do think you have to remain an adult to your kids. And that is often NOT COOL.

  20. Skye says:

    Madonna screeching at people to get a sense of humor and not start the year off with judgment? Wow. I thought this year’s “Smack Yourself In the Head Unintentional Irony Award” was going to be a longer contest, but it seems the field is closed.

  21. Jayna says:

    No, I don’t believe she let him drink. Madonna is a controlled person. She isn’t even a big drinker. BUT as strict as she is with Lola, she has said when he was little Rocco has her tied around his finger. I think the kids were funnin’ around. We all did when we were young acting silly and posing for pics we thought were cool. I don’t think he was drinking much less she would ever let his friends drink. But like everyone said, if it was the boy that posted it, that would be one thing, but Madonna posting it is a serious lapse in judgment and typical of how she is these days. I just don’t have much respect for Madonna these days with that stupid grille, the Molly reference on stage in Miami trying to be hip with the rave crowd, the plastic surgery which makes her look mean and not like she used to. I just never thought as cool as Madonna was in her mid forties and not trying hard that hitting fifty and divorce would turn Madonna into such a wannabe down with the young kids.

    I bet she really was hoping to hook up with Sean Penn again and he is off with beauty Charlize Theron, in her late thirties. Sean can’t be attracted to all of Madonna’s plastic-surgeried, pillow face look.

    • the Original Tiffany says:

      Did you see all the pictures in the link I posted? He is definitely drinking and quite a bit to get that blotchy of a face. Her daughter smokes as well, so strict really isn’t the word I’d use for that kind of parenting.

  22. Beth says:

    News flash: Madonna’s a dumbass. Copyright 1994.

  23. velourazure says:

    Given that Madonna has the personal maturity level of a 13 year old boy, this all seems to make perfect sense.

  24. tessy says:

    That stupid thing in her mouth makes her look like her teeth are rotten.

  25. skuddles says:

    Guaranteed she’s thinking the exact same thing she always thinks whenever she says or does something stupid. This will stir up controversy and make people talk about me … the world cannot ignore ME!!!

    So lame. So transparent. Not to mention irresponsible. And just dowright skeevy to use her kid to get attention.

  26. LaurieH says:

    What was she thinking? She a 55 year old woman who wears a freakin’ grill. What do you think she was thinking? My guess? Not much.

    • Dawn says:

      I think she was thinkin it sucks to get old and maybe if she acts like she is in her 20’s no one will notice that she is 55 instead. It is sad that she can’t just say yep I am 55 and if these things were around in my 20’s I more than likely wouldn’t have tried them, but here I am…and why not! I am not a Madonna fan although I like some of her music. If she is doing this at 55 what will she be doing at 60?

  27. Elizabeth says:

    Rocco without a doubt has that daredevil, thrill seeking danger thing going on (not from his mother’s side !) and she was probably hoping to take the stigma out of alcohol by throwing a bit of fun with it. The woman has been married to two men with drinking problems, for heaven’s sake, no way does she not take the issue seriously.

  28. gg says:

    She needs to loosen her wig a little – her eyebrows are creeping off her face.

  29. DB says:

    Madonna needs to grow the f up and behave like a parent…not her kids’ friend. I can’t say I’m surprised by the photos of her son holding alcohol. But what I am surprised by is Madge’s poor judgment of posting these photos publicly – and the fact that they also include other people’s kids. Some websites have blurred the faces of the boys, but many haven’t. And because this is Madonna, those photos are everywhere. If I was one of those boys’ mom, I would slap the filler outta Madonna’s chipmunk cheeks for exploiting my kid like that.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      I dunno, DB. I might be thanking Madonna for inadvertently bringing my sweet angel’s drinking to my attention in her failed bid at relevance.

  30. Gorgonia says:

    I really like some of Madonna’s music, but I was never fond about her: I find her to be that kind of fake offbeat I really can’t stand. After her second divorce, she acts as a poor desperate one who wants to forget the very fact she is aging, probably she’s unable to do it graciously. Madonna, it’s time to give up!

  31. homegrrrl says:

    I don’t let my kid watch TV. Why would I? I’m the parent; not the national media. That said, there I would let my 13 yr old -hold- a bottle of gin when switzerland turns into Fiji, for F sake. I don’t even think it’s cool for him to mock smoke, why would I think it was cool for him to hold a bottle of booze? I just don’t get it, and it’s really not funny. Now a few yrs back, I did post a pic of him sleeping as an infant with a few crumpled up cans of schlitz. Am I a hypocrite??

  32. meh says:

    Gahh how adorable are Mercy and David?

  33. putchka says:

    A picture of Rocco on DM is looking a lot like an angry Sean Penn.

  34. Jennifer12 says:

    I think it kills Madonna that her kids are teenagers and she’s clearly no longer the young, sexy mom she still wants to be. I think it’s even worse because her daughter is so beautiful and looks so much like a young Madonna and it’s probably hard because Madonna is struggling to hold onto her looks and youth.

  35. Cinderella says:

    She may think it’s all fun and games, but ol’ Rocco is making future plans of his own.

  36. Lauraq says:

    My parents let me drink at home as a teen. And aside from one kegger that my psychopathic brother left me at when I was 14 (he had to get rid of me so he could get laid), I was drinking at home, safe, all my teen years. And when I turned 21, instead of acting a fool and trying to drink 21 shots in an hour, I had a few beers and a couple shots and went home.
    So, yeah. Maybe she’s not off.