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Carlos Leon says he is 'forever grateful to Madonna' as he discusses life with Lourdes

22 FEBRUARY 2011

Their relationship didn’t go the distance, but Carlos Leon has said he will be "forever grateful" to Madonna for giving him the love of his life, daughter Lourdes.

In a new interview, actor Carlos says of his romance with the Material Girl – which lasted from 1994 until 1997 – "I have no regrets. I wouldn’t change anything.

"I got the best thing out of that relationship, and that is my daughter. My daughter is everything to me."

The 44-year-old – currently starring in critically acclaimed comedy, Immigration Tango - also opened up to People magazine about life with the 14-year-old, admitting that he is a "lenient dad" who struggles to be strict with Lourdes.

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"I'm very empathetic and I'm good at listening to my daughter," he said. "I'm probably a bad dad when it comes to disciplining her."

The solution, according to Carlos, is compromise. Particularly when it comes to curfew. "I try to work with her on it," says the personal trainer. "We settle on a time, say around 10 pm, and she's like, 'How about 10.30?'. And it eventually becomes 10.15."

Now a teen, Lourdes – nicknamed Lola – has already branched out into the world with a collaborative fashion line with her mum. And, according to her proud papa, she is not shy when it comes to giving him a few pointers.

"Sometimes she will give me a hard time about my clothes," says Carlos. "I wore a pair of jeans once, and they weren't as skinny as I usually wear them, and she was like, 'Oh my God, Dad, those pants are so ugly. Please change your pants."

"They were too bootcut, so I changed," he admits with a chuckle.

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Lourdes might have entered the grown-up world of fashion, but, her dad confesses, in his eyes she will always be his "little girl". And, he says, he is already dreading the time when she starts dating.

"I'm already overprotective, so when the time comes, I will be ready to have a talk with the guy she brings through the door. He better be ready, because I'll give him the rundown!"

When it comes to their spare time together, Carlos says the pair often go for bike rides around New York or hang out at home watching films.

Lourdes' favourite movies, says her dad, include Harry Potter and Twilight.

"She's Team Edward all the way," he revealed - referring to Robert Pattinson's character in the vampire franchise.

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