LOS ANGELES: American pop icon Madonna was raped at knifepoint when she was a young struggling artist in New York, she revealed in an article published Friday.
In a piece for Harper’s Bazaar, the 55-year-old recalled being held up at gunpoint and having her apartment burgled three times before she started making it as a singer and a dancer.
“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.”
Growing up in Midwest, Madonna described her arrival in the Big Apple as “not everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms.”
“The tall buildings and the massive scale of New York took my breath away. The sizzling-hot sidewalks and the noise of the traffic and the electricity of the people rushing by me on the streets was a shock to my neurotransmitters,” she added.
“I felt like I had plugged into another universe. I felt like a warrior plunging my way through the crowds to survive. Blood pumping through my veins, I was poised for survival. I felt alive,” she said.
The pop icon, however, admitted that she was “ freaked out by the smell of piss and vomit everywhere, especially in the entryway of my third-floor walk-up.”
The “Material Girl” singer, whose career has ranged from “Like a Virgin” to movie roles and the 1992 coffee table book “Sex”, wrote the cover story to accompany a fashion photoshoot of her in typically provocative gear, including a bondage-style mask and a sword.
Moving on a decade a time, she recalled being a pop star in her 20s, embracing Kabbalah in her 30s, before marrying director Guy Ritchie and moving to Britain by the age of 45.
“I consider moving to a foreign country to be a very daring act. It wasn’t easy for me. 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.”
Madonna and Ritchie were divorced in 2008. She returned to New York a decade later.
“I have started making films, which is probably the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. I am building schools for girls in Islamic countries and studying the Koran. I think it is important to study all the holy books.
“As my friend Yaman always tells me, a good Muslim is a good Jew, and a good Jew is a good Christian, and so forth. I couldn’t agree more.”