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Madonna on kids, critics and Madonna

Raunchy pop star Madonna says she wants to have three children and has found a prospective father, but she's silent about his identity.

Madonna, in an interview broadcast on BBC television Sunday night, acknowledged she had difficulty with relationships because she always had to make the first move and men were often intimidated by her fame and riches.

Asked if she really wanted children, the 36-year-old singer said, "Yeah, definitely. I wish all three of them were sitting on my bed right now."

But Madonna, interviewed by comedian Ruby Wax in a room in the Ritz hotel in Paris, refused to divulge the name of the man she has in mind as their father.

When Wax asked her whether she had found the right man, Madonna said, "Yes, I have. . . . No, it's not a plumber, but I could see him fixing my sink."

Madonna, also famed for her book Sex and her screen role in Desperately Seeking Susan, had confided earlier that she could see herself falling in love with a plumber as long as he was totally committed and enthusiastic about his job.

Madonna said she regretted the breakup of many love affairs, particularly with screen heart-throb Warren Beatty. She said she had really cared for and loved Beatty and described him as funny and smart.

Meanwhile, in a more recent interview from her Miami home, Madonna said she's been slashed by the press because she is a woman.

"I'm being punished for being a single female, for having power and being rich and saying the things I say, being a sexual creature _ actually, not being any different from anyone else, but just talking about it," she said. "If I were a man, I wouldn't have had any of these problems. Nobody talks about Prince's sex life, and all the women he's slept with."

Madonna said people have misinterpreted her messages.

"I feel I've been misunderstood," she said. "I tried to make a statement about feeling good about yourself and exploring your sexuality, but people took it to mean that everyone should go out . . . and have sex with everyone, and that I was going to be the leader of that."

Madonna also took shots at a whole generation of women, including Sandra Bernhard, "who cannot bring themselves to say anything positive about me." Of a tabloid story that said she had not had sex with a man in three years, Madonna laughed and said, "False."