Madonna and Sean Penn were married on Madonna's birthday, August 16th in 1985, the two divorced on January 10th 1989.
Madonna and Sean Penn's wedding was held under tight security. Guests were not notified of the location until the day before the ceremony. Reporters could not get past the security checkpoint and although helicopters invaded their privacy from above, the wedding was a private affair for 220 friends and relatives, ranging from Madonna's 7 siblings and her 72-year old grandmother, to such Hollywood culminaries as Christopher Walken, Carrie Fisher, Diane Keaton and Tom Cruise. Like any other bride, Madonna was dressed in white tulle and lace.
Sean Penn's violent outbursts were a source of stress for Madonna and she reportedly sought psychiatric help soon after they were married.
When asked in her film "Truth Or Dare" who was the love of her life, Madonna answered, "Sean, Sean". Sean, she explained, was madly jealous and domineering, but "at least he paid attention". Better hostile attention than none at all.
Madonna once said this about the press and her marriage to Sean Penn: "A lot of the times the press would make up the most awful things that we had never done, fights we never had. Then sometimes we would have a fight and we'd read about and it would be almost spooky, like they'd predicted or they'd bugged our phones or they were listening in our bedroom."
In 1996 Madonna starred with ex-husband Sean Penn in the off Broadway production "Goose and Tom Tom".