Madonna: I Was Raped At Knifepoint In New York City

Madonna in the November 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.The singer revealed in an essay that she was raped at knifepoint when she was living in New York City.

Madonna has long been a icon of sexual aggressiveness, but the Material Matriarch tells Harper’s Bazaar that she was violently raped when she first came to New York City.

In a personal essay in Harper’s November issue, Madonna discusses the assault, which took place at knifepoint on the roof of a New York building in the late 1970s. “[The city] 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.”

 The rape, which was also referenced in a 2007 biography, Madonna: Like an Icon, left the music star “crying and shaking” but became a catalyst for artistic development and Madonna’s passion for female empowerment.

“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,” wrote biographer Lucy O’Brien.

In the Harper’s piece Madonna also writes of being a rebel back in Bay City, Michigan—trying to play down her sexiness by not shaving or wearing makeup, and wearing scarves on her head “like a Russian peasant.”

Let’s hope she doesn’t adopt that look again for her next re-invention.

Madonna in the November 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
Photos: Terry Richardson for Harper’s Bazaar
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