Freud handles press on behalf of Ritchie

Freud Communications' chairman Matthew Freud is dealing personally with journalists on behalf of Guy Ritchie, it has emerged, a week after the news of Ritchie and Madonna's divorce broke.

Divorce battle: Madonna
Divorce battle: Madonna

Showbiz PROs are calling the pair’s divorce the highest profile split since Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.

Freud Communications has a ten-year relationship with Ritchie. Matthew Freud is working on the account alongside board director Patrick Keegan and senior account director James Selman.

Keegan said: ‘We’re trying to help the media report accurately, but we are not responding bespoke to each allegation and speculation.’

Research commissioned by PRWeek shows Madonna has received more media mentions than Ritchie since the announcement was made on 15 October. The day before the news broke there were fewer than 20 article mentions in the UK press about Madonna, and fewer than five about Ritchie. This jumped to more than 90 for Madonna on the day of the announcement and more than 70 for Ritchie, according to Dow Jones Insight.

Borkowski founder Mark Borkowski said: ‘I don’t think there’s as much fuss as the tabloid media would hope. This will be a game of chess, not a piece of street theatre. The real battle will be between the legal Rottweilers they employ.’

Madonna’s long-standing media handler Barbara Charone is handling the other side, in tandem with US-based publicist Liz Rosenberg.

Senior showbiz journalists said that historically Freud briefs reporters more often than Charone does.

‘She tends to do the classic American thing of not commenting, while Freud is happier to put stuff out,’ said one.

But journalistic sources said neither team had so far been in contact proactively.

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