Madonna Reveals She Was Raped At Knifepoint
Madonna has revealed she was held at knifepoint and raped at the beginning of her music career.
The American pop star, who grew up in Rochester, Michigan, recounts the horrifying ordeal in November's issue of Harper's Bazaar.
She tells of her move in the 1970s to New York City, "which did not welcome me with open arms".
"The first year, I was held up at gunpoint," she writes. "Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back, and had my apartment broken into three times. I don't know why; I had nothing of value after they took my radio the first time."
But while she was "scared s***less and freaked out" by some aspects of the city, she remained "defiant" and hell-bent on surviving and on making it.
"It was hard and it was lonely, and I had to dare myself every day to keep going," she says.
In the article for the magazine's "Daring Issue", she describes her early years as a "rebel" and nonconformist, who "did the opposite of what all the other girls were doing" and turned herself into a "man repeller".
She was considered "strange" and her unpopularity and lack of social life led to her decision to move to the Big Apple to become "a real artist" and "express myself in a city of nonconformists".
She also recalls her time in England, married to director Guy Ritchie: "It wasn't easy for me. Just because we speak the same language doesn't mean we speak the same language.
"I didn't understand that there was still a class system. I didn't understand pub culture. I didn't understand that being openly ambitious was frowned upon.
"Once again I felt alone. But I stuck it out and I found my way, and I grew to love English wit, Georgian architecture, sticky toffee pudding, and the English countryside. There is nothing more beautiful than the English countryside."
Her essay ends back in New York: "Ten years later, here I am, divorced and living in New York. I have been blessed with four amazing children.
"I try to teach them to think outside the box. To be daring. To choose to do things because they are the right thing to do, not because everybody else is doing them."