Madonna Book: Like a Vengeance

The timing of the book couldn't be better for Ciccone, according to Nelson. Madonna has been in the news the last few weeks over rumors that her marriage to Ritchie is on the rocks and that her friendship with Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez has cost him his marriage to Cynthia Rodriguez.

"The timing is fortuitous," Nelson said.

And not just for Ciccone. Lee said Madonna is benefiting as well from the publicity around the book. "I think Madonna is enjoying every minute of this attention," he said. "When she was flouncing around in the '80s singing 'Like a Virgin,' did you think we'd still be talking about Madonna, that she's still relevant at 49? I think she's genuinely mad, but she's also loving the attention."

Does that mean she'll forgive her brother for writing it?

"He's shot any chance of reconciliation," Lee said. "Madonna has a long memory. The only way a celebrity's relative could write a book about the celebrity and not totally destroy the relationship is by having that celebrity's blessing in a big way."

Jennifer Anniston's mother, Nancy, found that out the hard way. Anniston was apparently so angry with her mother for writing about her appearance before her nose job and other intimate details that she excluded her from her wedding to Brad Pitt.

When talk show host and publishers' biggest booster Oprah Winfrey found out her father, Vernon, was shopping around a memoir about raising his famous daughter, she told reporters she was "stunned."

"The book was stopped and went away," Nelson said.

Will the public buy Ciccone's book?

"The public likes these books," Nelson said. "But it's going to depend on the tone of this book. I'm not the only person who thinks what a creepy brother to do that to his sister. If the book has a gleeful viciousness, it could be a problem. If the tone is more measured, and we sympathize with him, that could help him. At the moment, the implication is he got mad and is going to air her dirty laundry, and that's could hurt him."

Marshall, the family therapist, believes the public enjoys these books because of envy. "We want to see our stars fall," she said. But we also like to see them redeemed. "When they fall off the pedestal and get back on -- we've all that had experience," Marshall said.

As for Ciccone's book, "The public is really smart and recognizes dysfunction," she said. "But they'll still want to read it. It'll probably be a best-seller."

"But I think it's a hollow victory for him," she added. "It's like the kiss of Judas. When you have to betray another person to get your needs met, it's never truly satisfying."

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