I Was Raped on the Roof of a Building at Knifepoint, Madonna Tells Harper’s Bazaar

Singer looks back on a life of challenges and daring acts for this year’s Daring Issue

Madonna has never played by the book and she’s awfully proud of being able to say that she chooses going against the trend to stand out, instead of doing whatever everyone else is doing. She’s just the right person to feature in this year’s Daring Issue from Harper’s Bazaar.

In a beautifully-worded op-piece on how challenges and dares have shaped her as an artist and a person, Madonna also reveals a detail of her life perhaps not many knew: she was raped when she first moved to New York.

She recalls growing up and becoming a rebellious teen who instinctively turned against rules, not having any friends and eventually deciding to move to New York to become a professional dancer, a “REAL artist.”

“To be able to express myself in a city of nonconformists. To revel and shimmy and shake in a world and be surrounded by daring people,” she writes of what made her pack up and head out for NYC.

The reality was the exact opposite of what she expected.

“New York wasn't everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms. The first year, I was held up at gunpoint. Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back. [I] 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,” Madonna says.

She would often cry herself to sleep and wonder it if it was all worth it but, at the same time, she enjoyed breathing in the city’s crazy life through every pore. At last, she knew it was worth it.

In the same piece, Madonna talks about other challenges she faced in her life, including moving to London with husband Guy Ritchie, adopting internationally (one of the most scarring experiences ever, because it ended up with her being accused of kidnapping and human trafficking) and, last but not least, branching out into film.

“One of the many things I learned from all of this: If you aren't willing to fight for what you believe in, then don't even enter the ring,” she says towards the end of the piece.

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