Film director Guy Ritchie has admitted he still loves ex-wife Madonna.
The 41-year-old - who parted company with the Material Girl after eight years of marriage last November - has spoken for the first time about the couple's split.
"You can't tell someone when they're getting divorced that their pain is an illusion," he says. "I'm telling you, I feel it, I've been through that."
"And, of course, here you go: I still love her... But she's retarded, too."
His comment was probably a reference to a concert Madonna gave, in which she dedicated a song to the "emotionally retarded".
"Maybe you know some people who fall in that category. I know I do," she told fans.
But Guy - who shares custody of their two sons, Rocco, nine, and four-year-old David Banda - also had kind words to say about the queen of pop, who is currently dating 22-year-old model Jesus Luz.
"Madonna makes things happen," he declares. "Put Madonna up against any 23-year-old, she'll outwork them, outdance them, outperform them."
Photo: ę Alpha