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Madonna Says She Was Raped at Knifepoint, Robbed Before Becoming Famous

Oct 4, 2013 07:12 PM ET
by Kate Stanhope


Madonna is one of the most successful singers in the world, but when she first moved to New York City in the late ’70s to make it big, her life was anything but glamorous.

In a new interview for the upcoming “daring” issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Madonna recalls getting raped, held at gunpoint and robbed multiple times. “New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms,” she writes. “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.” Madonna adds that she “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.”

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In addition to the many crimes committed against her, the “Material Girl” singer had a difficult time finding good work in the city. New York “wasn’t anything I prepared for,” she writes. “Trying to be a professional dancer, paying my rent by posing nude for art classes, staring at people staring at me naked. Daring them to think of me as anything but a form they were trying to capture with their pencils and charcoal.”

Despite all of these challenges, Madonna says she never thought about packing up and leaving the dangerous city. “I was defiant. Hell-bent on surviving. On making it,” she writes. “But it was hard and it was lonely, and I had to dare myself every day to keep going.”


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