10:37 PM EDT 10/16/2013

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Carlos Leon

Credit: Ron Asadorian/Splash New Online
Carlos Leon: I'm a Lenient Father to Lourdes

Carlos Leon: I'm a Lenient Father to Lourdes

Originally posted 02/21/2011 12:00PM

Their own relationship didn't last, but Carlos Leon found the love of his life thanks to Madonna – their daughter Lourdes.

"I'm forever grateful to [Madonna]," Leon tells PEOPLE. "I have no regrets. I wouldn't change anything. I got the best thing out of that relationship, and that's my daughter. My daughter is everything to me."

Like many smitten fathers, Leon, 44, admits he has a tough time being strict with Lourdes, now 14.

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