In an emotional piece written by the star herself, she bravely reveals her terrifying ordeal at the hands of a stranger after moving to New York from Rochester, Michigan.
The 55-year-old, whose piece appears in Harper’s Bazaar, writes: “New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be. 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.”
In the emotional piece, Madonna takes readers from her childhood to the present day, writing she was a teenage loner who wouldn’t shave her legs to be rebellious.
“Most people thought I was strange,” she writes, “I didn’t have many friends; I might not have had any friends. 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.”
When Madonna, who had just turned 20 when she was attacked, first moved to New York she found the city daunting but says she was “defiant, hell bent on surviving”.
“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. I was defiant. Hell-bent on surviving. On making it.
“But it was hard and it was lonely, and I had to dare myself every day to keep going. Sometimes I would play the victim and cry in my shoe box of a bedroom with a window that faced a wall, watching the pigeons shit on my windowsill.”
She also details her conversion to the Kabbalah faith, writing “what the teacher was saying blew my mind” and her marriage to UK-born Guy Ritchie: “Just because we speak the same language doesn’t mean we speak the same language.”