Madonna speaks of being raped in candid essay
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Madonna has written a candid, open and revealing essay for Harper’s Bazzar in which she revealed that she was raped at knifepoint shortly after she first moved to New York.
The iconic singer wrote that she had moved to the Big Apple from Michigan in 1978 in order to become “a real artist", but quickly discovered the unforgiving nature of life on her own in the vagaries of the city.
New York wasn't everything I thought it would be," she wrote. "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, 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."
Her biographer, Lucy O Brien had previously theorised about the effect of the rape on the nature of her subsequent work
“Her anger at the attack came out afterward in a need for complete sexual control,” O’Brien said. “Sex became a mask, a way of psychologically turning the tables on her attacker. She encountered her own worst possible scenario, becoming a victim of male violence, and thereafter turned that full-tilt into her work, reversing the equation at every opportunity,”
Madonna didn’t dwell on the horrific experience in the Harpers article but said of herself at the time
"Most people thought I was strange. I didn’t have many friends,” she wrote. “But it all turned out good in the end, because when you aren’t popular and you don’t have a social life, it gives you more time to focus on your future.”
She then described her transition from the persona she had in her twenties to her growing pull towards spirituality and in particular, Kabbala.
“I needed to be more than a girl with gold teeth and gangster boyfriends. More than a sexual provocateur imploring girls not to go for second-best baby.”
The article gives a rare and honest insight into the psychology of the pop queen and deals with difficult subjects all the way through it, including her controversial adoptions in Malawi.
"I was accused of kidnapping, child trafficking, using my celebrity muscle to jump ahead in the line, bribing government officials, witchcraft, you name it. Certainly I had done something illegal!" she wrote. "This was an eye-opening experience. A real low point in my life. I could get my head around people giving me a hard time for simulating masturbation onstage or publishing my Sex book, even kissing Britney Spears at an awards show, but trying to save a child's life was not something I thought I would be punished for."