The death of Anthony Ciccone, Madonna’s older brother, is a tragic loss for the entire family. As a complex character loved by those close to him, the news of his untimely death shocked his sister and others family members.
Joe Henry, Madonna’s brother-in-law, announced the sad news on social media this weekend. He described Anthony as “a complex character” whose life ended prematurely at age 66. The Ciccone family has been through a great tragedy in recent years and could use some prayers from fans and friends.
Henry’s brother-in-law, Anthony Gerard Ciccone, sadly passed away last night. Although they had known each other since Henry was 15 and had experienced many highs and lows during their years living together in Michigan, Henry understood Anthony better than he sometimes wanted to let on.
Henry noted that he always loved him despite their misdeeds or differences; family remains anyway. As he parted, Henry hoped that the God his blessed mother believed in had welcomed Anthony into her arms. Regardless of anyone else’s opinion, Henry was able to keep this hope close to his heart today.
Anthony had reportedly dealt with alcoholism and spent time homeless over the years, including a 2013 incident where he required nine stitches after resisting arrest in a public bathroom in Michigan. He claimed Madonna and his family didn’t care about him, saying “I’m ashamed.”
Although the singer had not released a statement at press time, PEOPLE has heard her relation with her brother was complicated because of his struggles.
The source said, “Madonna supported him in every way if he was willing to take the support,” and confirmed that relatives visited him during his rehab, as he has been refusing in recent months.
It is believed that Anthony died in Madonna’s home state of Michigan, where she grew up. In 2011, he spoke out about being “homeless on the street” and living there under a bridge. Christopher confirmed later that year that he was back home recovering from time spent in a treatment center.