Madonna Expecting Second Child

After dodging months of maternity-focused media scrutiny and rumors, Madonna and British director Guy Ritchie have officially announced that they are indeed expecting a child at the end of this year.

Ritchie, best known for the irreverent gangster flick "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," issued an official statement which thanked everyone for their good wishes and asked that the couple's privacy be respected.

"We would be grateful if the media would kindly allow us some privacy at this special time and we thank you all for your good wishes," Ritchie said in the announcement.

No due date for the baby has been announced, but U.K. tabloids speculate that Madonna is three months pregnant.

The singer is currently in London working on her 14th album with "Ray Of Light" producer William Orbit and French producer Mirwais. The album is tentatively set for a September release.

The baby will be Madonna's second child; her daughter Lourdes, whose father

is actor Carlos Leon, is three years old.