Madonna Opens Up On NYC Rape In ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ Cover Story
Fans of Madonna know her story well. They know of how she moved to her native Michigan to New York City with hopes of becoming a ballet dancer and, more importantly, dreams of being among other non-conformists. (She was called a “hairy monster” for refusing to shave her arms and legs.) Given her meteoric rise in 1984, they also likely imagined that she was as self-assured as she appears in her “Borderline” video.
But in a Harper’s Bazaar essay (also the magazine’s cover story), the pop icon reveals why her first year in New York City was actually harrowing. “New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be,” she says. “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 source of solace? A Frida Kahlo postcard, taped to a wall at her “shoe box” of a bedroom. “[T]he sight of her mustache consoled me,” Madonna says. “Because she was an artist who didn’t care what people thought. I admired her. She was daring. People gave her a hard time. Life gave her a hard time. If she could do it, then so could I.”
The rest of Madonna’s essay — she talks of her Like a Prayer years, discovering Kabbalah and motherhood — is, as they say, history. Read the cover story at the official Harper’s Bazaar website.