The cracks that fractured the once tight relationship between superstar singer Madonna and her younger brother Christopher Ciccone began long before he even thought of writing a book about their relationship, Ciccone said in an exclusive interview that aired today on "Good Morning America."
While Ciccone partly blames Madonna's husband, Guy Ritchie, for his estranged relationship with the "4 Minutes" singer, the openly gay Ciccone said his view of his sister really changed after she ambushed him with cameras at their mother's grave for her black and white backstage documentary, "Truth or Dare."
"At one point, if you've seen the 'Truth or Dare' movie, when she's rolling around on my mother's grave that -- that was a turning point for me in my relationship with her," said Ciccone who just released the book "Life With My Sister Madonna." "I kept it inside but I thought to myself, 'OK, there are no boundaries now.' You know, my mother's now become a side -- a bit player in her life, life story, and it hurt me. And I — my, my opinion of her altered at that moment. I never said anything about it."
Ciccone refused to be filmed for the movie and said he began realizing the daddy's girl he grew up with in Bay City, Mich., was gone.
"I think, ultimately, she's a lonely person and, unfortunately, it, it truly is lonely at the top," he said.
But the "Truth or Dare" incident was just the first in a series of alleged episodes that weakened the bond between the pair. Ciccone, who said at one time his relationship with Madonna "was a bit like a marriage," said he hit his biggest rift with his sister over finances -- just as in so many marriages.
He said the "Like a Virgin" singer's refusal to provide adequate aid to their ailing, blind 97-year-old grandmother was too much.
"It's difficult to trust people, you know, but someone like my grandmother, you know, you just do it," he said. "I wanted her to look after her, to get her a driver and a car.
"It seems like the easiest thing to do," he added. "Ultimately, so she, she gave her $500 a month and pays, and pays for her medical bills."
Ciccone's critics have said his book is just a way for him to cash in on his sister's fame.
"I'm happy to get paid for my work, so I don't have a problem with that. I'm also happy to get paid for the first time what I think I'm worth," Ciccone said.
Still, Ciccone said he was satisfied with the amount he ultimately received for his book.
"I'm not unhappy with it," he said.
When Ciccone was asked if it was true he had received seven figures for the book, he laughed and coyly repeated, "I'm not unhappy with it."
He added that he is sure his sister was worried about exactly how much he would reveal to the world when she learned of the book.
"I know that her reaction was like many people's — she went to the very worst place," Ciccone said. "That I was going to discuss very private medical matters, that I was going to tear her apart, that, you know, she was very upset. And she — since I wasn't responding to her, she was calling my father and trying to get him to choose sides, which I thought was of -- on the low side, if you ask me."