My uni lover Madonna’s a fighter… I know she’ll bounce back from her health scare and here’s why
MADONNA struts her stuff in never-before-seen pics from her early years – as an ex tells The Sun on Sunday she will bounce back from her health scare.
The Queen of Pop, 64, was rushed to intensive care in New York last month after suffering a bacterial infection.
Queen of Pop Madonna was rushed to hospital with a bacterial infectionCredit: Getty
It led Madge to postpone the start of her much-anticipated world tour as she recovers at home.
Speaking for the first time of his decades-old romance with the superstar, Peter Kentes said she is a born fighter and will brush off pleas from her family to scale back her tour.
Kentes, now 72, said: “No one beats age but Madonna will conquer this illness and have a successful tour.
“She’s always been full of, out-working other performers, and I can’t see her ever slowing down.”
To prove his point, Kentes shared pics of a glowing 19-year-old Madonna posing for his camera in 1978.
She can be seen smiling while striking poses, dancing and bending over for the snaps in a red minidress.
Nostalgic monochrome video footage, which Kentes held on to, offers a fascinating glimpse into the then-aspiring star’s talent at an early age as she performs at dance rehearsals.
Kentes also showed off a Valentine’s card he received from Madonna with a drawing of a lion and the cheesy message: “No ‘lion’ — I want you for my Valentine”.
And he revealed an astrological chart he made for her at the time that accurately predicted her glittering.
Madonna was just 19 when she met Kentes at the University of Michigan.
She was studying dance and he was a class instructor in his mid twenties.
Former boyfriend Peter Kentes met Madonna when she was only 19Credit: Peter Kentes/Coleman-Rayner
Peter says Madonna is a fighter and believes she will overcome her health scareCredit: Peter Kentes/Coleman-Rayner
He has vivid memories of one risqué date, recalling: “My best friend’s family had a cabin with a sauna in the woods about 40 miles outside of the university’s Ann Arbor campus.
“I organised a trip there in the middle of winter with Madonna and three or four other female dancers and two of my male friends.
“It was not your usual date. It was adventuresome. There was two to three feet of snow and we had to hike.
“We sauna’d and Madonna and I took a shower together and we exchanged some kisses naked.
Peter says he found Madonna ‘fascinating’ from the moment he met herCredit: Peter Kentes/Coleman-Rayner
Peter says he knew Madonna’s long-term dream of fame meant their relationship would not lastCredit: Peter Kentes/Coleman-Rayner
“The first time I’d seen her was in the lounge in the university dance building.
“Thirty or so other dancers were sitting around, exhausted from their techniques classes, but Madonna was doing sit-ups, working on her abdominal muscles. She had bruises on her back.
“She didn’t have much body fat and that was the result. I was a ‘hot jazz’ dancer who had performed professionally and she was a freshman. She flirted with me.
“One of the older graduate students told her, ‘He’s too old for you.’
“But she was very brash. I would see her hanging out her dorm window and catcalling at young men as they walked by.
“She was not too popular with most of the other female dancers and I think she was attracted to me to find out what I knew.
“She would pull people’s tails and was very outspoken. But I found her fascinating.
“I was into astrology and I did her chart. It showed her early upbringing was challenged and she said, ‘Yes,’ — that her mother had passed away when she was very young and she didn’t get along with her stepmother.
“And it showed riches, fortune and fame. I thought, ‘If I tell her this she’ll say, My God!’
“I was very shocked. This was a girl who could barely feed herself. But it didn’t shock her at all.
“She said she’d had her chart done before and that was her plan.”
After the sauna party, Madonna declared her feelings for him in a Valentine’s card that Kentes still keeps in a collection of mementos.
He said: “There definitely was an attraction. I still have the card. It says, ‘From one Leo to another, love Madonna.’”
“At that point I thought, ‘I’m not going to hitch my star to you.’
“This was an infatuation but it could never be long-term. We both had dreams of fame.
“Her goal was to go to New York and be a famous dancer and we both had egos, and one was not going to submit to the other. She was too competitive.”
Peter still has the Valentines card Madonna sent to himCredit: Peter Kentes/Coleman-Rayner
Peter was a dance instructor when he met Madonna and is her first known relationshipCredit: Peter Kentes/Coleman-Rayner
Actor Warren Beatty, 21 years her senior, was her only known older beau until Kentes shared his memories with The Sun on Sunday.
Her ex-husbands, Guy Ritchie and Sean Penn, and baby daddy Carlos Leon were all younger.
Madonna reportedly dumped her most recent toyboy, model Andrew Darnell, 41, for boxer Josh Popper, 29. “She needs to be centre stage, number one. The younger men she’s been with, like back-up dancers, fit into that,” Kentes said.
He photographed her in the minidress after casting her in a student performance inspired by a rough street near the university.
“There was a massage parlour and a dirty book storeto where my uncle had a liquor store where I was working part-time as a night manager and I based it on the characters that came in,’’ he recalled.
“Madonna played a street urchin, a young girl that didn’t have a lot of money that would hang out.
“That’s the way she struck me. She was always hungry because she didn’t have much money and occasionally I would feed her but other times she was living on popcorn. She was thin, very thin.
‘WE WERE KISSING’
“I projected colour slides of her on to the back wall during her solo section of the performance.
“Her parents and two of her brothers were in the audience and she had a problem with one of the photographs. I’d had her bend over from the waist and look though her legs, and she said, ‘Peter, you showed that one too long!’ ”
Kentes’ relationship with the budding star petered out after he took her one night to the annex where he lived at his parents’ Michigan house.
He said: “We’d gone out dancing and we were sitting on the bed, and listening to records and kissing a bit then all of a sudden my mother popped through the door, which totally shook Madonna.
“I’d wanted to make love to her that night. So it didn’t happen.
“I went for a teaching career — the sure thing — but Madonna gambled. I didn’t bet on myself as much as she did, because I was older.
“In theof 1978, she called and said ‘Peter, I need a ride.’ I drove her to the airport in my Chevy Vega van. She had bought a one-way ticket to New York.
“She barely had anything with her — a stuffed doll under her arm and maybe 40 dollars in cash.
“She was very excited, with just a bit of trepidation. That was the last time I saw her but we kept in touch through her brother, Christopher.
“When her first album came out, I was surprised. She wrote dreamy poems but she hadn’t told me she sang. She was very protective of herself. But Christopher told me, ‘She’s still the Madonna you remember. She hasn’t changed at all.”
An unidentified member of her family has been quoted as imploring the star to treat her recent illness as a “wake-up call” that proves she isn’t “invincible”.
But Kentes scoffed at this, saying: “Madonna created herself. She won’t allow anything to get in her way.
“This was a girl who could go out clubbing all night when I knew her and would be ready to start ballet class at 7.30am.
“She’ll be like Mae West. She’ll always be a headliner.”
Peter kept an old horoscope in which Madonna saw her route to stardomCredit: Peter Kentes/Coleman-Rayner
Madonna always needs to be centre stage says former lover PeterCredit: Instagram/madonna