Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Sean Penn has affection for Madonna

Sean Penn has affection for Madonna

Sean Penn has "great affection" for Madonna.

The 54-year-old star had an extremely turbulent relationship with the 'Like A Virgin' hitmaker when they were married from 1985 to 1989, frequently lashing out at paparazzi and even being arrested for assaulting his then-wife but insists their issue that were public were just "trivial".

He said: "You look back and you say, 'What fire did I walk through that I sought out?'

"This is a fantastic woman, who I have great affection for - Madonna. She had not even toured when we got together. So there was no seeing all that coming. She was a fire, you know? In herself.

"Apart from all that stuff that came with it. But in a marriage? At that time in my life? And, you know, you walk through the fires you have to walk through. And I guess she probably would have described me similarly.

"The fires that were public were all trivial."

The 'Gunman' actor - who is now dating Charlize Theron and has children Dylan, 23, and Hopper, 21, with ex-wife Robin Wright - was never confident as a youngster and admits it wasn't until he started drinking that he felt comfortable approaching girls.

He told The Times newspaper: "I was not a talker in any way, until the senior year of high school, when I started to find a certain confidence in beer. That hasn't changed. If I'm with a group of people, you'll see me with a couple of drinks."