As winter approaches in chilly Traverse City, Mich., the local homeless struggle to stay warm — it’s a plight that’s drawn the attention of the local media. But one man, 55-year-old Anthony Ciccone, has attracted a larger audience, quite in spite of himself. The reason? His baby sister is none other than Madonna herself, one of the richest women in the universe. “I don’t have a cell phone,” he points out, when asked by In Touch if he keeps in contact with his famous sibling. “That makes it difficult.”
Anthony’s been in his unfortunate position for a little more than a year and a half, ever since he lost a job working at his father’s Michigan winery. “My family turned their back on me, basically, when I was having a hard time,” he told a publication called the Michigan Messenger. “[People ask] why I’m homeless [if] my sister is a multi-bazillionaire.” His message? “This could happen to anybody.”
Still, Anthony says that he is proud of his little sister’s success, even if he rarely hears from her. “You’ve got to give her credit,” he tells In Touch. “She earned it.” And, although he was adamant that he didn’t want to receive “a free handout” because of his relationship with Madonna, he wouldn’t be against accepting help from the star. “I don’t have too many options,” he admits. “If she wants to have a chat,” he says, “that’s fine with me.” But he’s not holding his breath. “She lives in her own world,” he says.