She’s the undisputed queen of pop.
But now Madonna has revealed that the start of her career was by no means a fairytale story – revealing that when she moved to New York to pursue her dreams of making it as dancer, she was raped and held at knife point.
Writing in the November issue of Harper’s Bazaar, the 55-year-old icon revealed: “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.
“I 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.”
Despite her awful experiences, Madonna recalls that she was ‘hell bent’ on surviving New York and making it big.
She continued: “Arriving in New York wasn’t anything I prepared for. 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.”
Madonna previously revealed that she had been sexually assaulted to NME in 1995.
She said at the time: “It is not an experience I would ever glamorise. Although it was devastating at the time, I know that it made me a much stronger person. . . . It forced me to be a survivor.
Read the full interview with Madonna in the November issue of Harper’s Bazaar, out now.