Why Madonna’s Provocative Book Ended Her Relationship With Vanilla Ice

Is there an aspect of Madonna’s life that hasn’t fascinated the public? Her music, her videos, her films (including the flops), and even her personal life have all made the headlines. People who aren’t super-familiar with her 1990s career might be surprised to know she dated the pop-rapper Vanilla Ice. Here’s why that relationship fell apart.

Madonna holding an award
Madonna | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The beginnings of Madonna’s relationship with Vanilla Ice

AllMovie reports Vanilla Ice once got to star in a movie called Cool as Ice, which was released in 1991. The critics generally don’t regard Cool as Ice as a masterpiece but some fans of 1990s nostalgia enjoy it. According to the book Rock Stars Do The Dumbest Things, Vanilla Ice met Madonna while filming Cool as Ice.

The book Madonna: Unstoppable says Madonna and Vanilla Ice dated for eight months. According to Yahoo! Life, Vanilla Ice was enjoying the relationship at first. He thought Madonna was a “great lover.”

“Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice

RELATED: Michael Jackson: Why Plans for a Madonna Duet Fell Apart

Madonna is an icon and appears superhuman to some of her fans. Vanilla, however, said she was normal — as well as romantic. On the other hand, he revealed she was very concerned he might cheat on her when he had not. Ultimately, it was Madonna’s antics, not her insecurity, that destroyed the relationship.

The provocative book that changed everything

Madonna was provocative in the 1980s but she brought her work to another level the following decade. According to Rolling Stone, 1992 saw the release of a little book called Sex. The coffee table book included a number of unique photographs. With a title like that, what else would anyone expect?

Rolling Stone reports the book was a star-studded affair that featured Naomi Campbell, Isabella Rosselini, Big Daddy Kane, and Vanilla Ice. Vanilla Ice’s appearance in the book became especially famous. Some fans felt his presence in Sex odd, considering the book was fairly avant-garde while Vanilla Ice’s music was often ridiculed.

How Vanilla Ice — and Madonna fans — felt about ‘Sex’

Vanilla Ice in bed
Vanilla Ice | Acey Harper/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

RELATED: 5 Times Madonna Stood Up, Proved She’s the Baddest of the Bunch (In the Best Way Possible)

One of the most prominent critics of Vanilla Ice’s appearance in Sex was Vanilla Ice himself. Vanilla Ice said the book destroyed his relationship with Madonna. According to Yahoo! News, he described himself as an “unwitting” participant in the photography sessions for the book.

“I thought she was taking pictures and running ‘round naked because she was like that,” Vanilla explained. “Then when the book came out I was so embarrassed and ashamed. It was a porno. She threw me in like I was a product off a shelf and I didn’t appreciate it. That was it and I ended it.”

To this day, Sex remains a divisive book, even among Madonna’s fans. Some see it as a bold, provocative, and even feminist work of art. Others feel the book is pretentious and over the top. Regardless, Vanilla Ice isn’t a fan. 

RELATED: Madonna Once Responded to the ‘Like a Virgin’ Scene in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’