Is Madonna's Brother Homeless?

The pop star's older brother, Anthony Ciccone, says he's been living under a bridge because "my family turned their back on me"

Madonna may need to open her heart (and her wallet). An article in the Michigan Messenger reports that the pop star's brother older brother Anthony is homeless and living under a bridge.

Anthony Ciccone, 55, tells the paper that he's been homeless since losing his job at his father's vineyard and winery a year-and-a-half ago.

"My family turned their back on me, basically, when I was having a hard time," he says. "You think I haven't answered this kind of question a bazillion times -- why my sister is a multibazillionarie, and I'm homeless on the street?"

"Never say never," he adds. "This could happen to anybody."

Ciccone says he now collects bottles and cans, and sometimes does odd jobs, to get whatever money he can scrounge together. Like many of Michigan's homeless, he's come to Traverse City for its well-known church network of meals and sleeping places. But resources are strained, and living on the streets has taken its toll on Ciccone, who has gotten nerve damage and frostbite from sleeping on concrete, and says he's seen several friends die of hypothermia.

If Anthony's story is true, it makes a person wonder why Madonna, 53, hasn't lifted a finger to help her brother... unless, of course, she has. It's not like we know the whole story. And why did his father fire him from the family business in the first place? It sounds like something went wrong ("I was having a hard time"), and now he's hit rock bottom. But Madonna and her brother used to be close; in a 1991 profile for The Advocate, her brother is described as "a friendly guy with long hair and two pierced ears" who flew in for a few weeks to visit his sister. Maybe it's time for Madonna to extend him another invitation while he gets back on his feet.

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