Lourdes Leon Says She Needed Independence from 'Control Freak' Mom Madonna After High School

"She's probably the hardest worker I've ever seen," Lourdes Leon said of her mom, Madonna

Lourdes Leon is focused on her own independence.

The 24-year-old model talked about growing up as Madonna's daughter during a recent chat with Interview Magazine. After graduating high school, Leon began forging her own path because she wanted to gain a sense of autonomy from her world-famous mom, she said.

"I think my mom saw all these other kids of famous people, and she was like, 'My kids are not going to be like this, ' " Leon said. "Also, I feel like if your parents pay for things, then it gives them leverage over you. My mom is such a control freak, and she has controlled me my whole life. I needed to be completely independent from her as soon as I graduated high school."

Leon, who is Madonna's firstborn with ex Carlos Leon, revealed earlier this year in an interview with Vogue that she paid her own college tuition and lives in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, away from the glitz of Hollywood.

As she's grown older, Leon has come to admire her mom's work ethic, especially "how empowering to other women and ahead of her time she has always been," she told Interview.

"I didn't fully comprehend that until I realized the importance of empowerment and what it means to be a woman," she explained. "She's probably the hardest worker I've ever seen. I didn't inherit that, unfortunately. I inherited her control issues, but not her work ethic!"

Madonna (R) and daughter Lourdes Leon arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party hosted by Graydon Carter held at Sunset Tower on February 27, 2011 in West Hollywood, California.
George Pimentel/WireImage

Madonna is also mom to Rocco, 21, David, 15, Mercy, 15, and 9-year-old twins Estere and Stella. She spoke with PEOPLE in 2017 about how the challenges of parenting have shifted since her kids have gotten older.

"I had this funny notion that when your children get older, they learn to take care of themselves and it gets easier," Madonna said. "But actually the older they get, the more challenging it gets — because now they're becoming adults, and they really need guidance."

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At the time, the star admitted one of her biggest challenges as a mom was coparenting. Her philosophy? "I'm in charge! I'm the boss!" she joked, adding:"Lola has a different father than Rocco, and I have four adopted kids, so there's a lot of outside influences. I'm trying to make sure I impart the same wisdom and love to everyone. I'm bad-cop. I'm the one that says no. I accept that role. I'm not the popular parent."

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