“New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be,” Madonna writes. “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.”
The singer also writes that she “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.”
She confesses that she was “scared shitless” by the city, and felt like she was “a warrior plunging my way through the crowds to survive.”
Still, she didn’t let these any of this deter her from chasing after her dream of one day ruling the world.
“I was defiant. Hell-bent on surviving. On making it,” she continues. “But it was hard and it was lonely, and I had to dare myself every day to keep going.”
Madonna also talks about feeling like an outsider as a teenager growing up in Michigan:
“When you’re 15, this can feel a little uncomfortable. Teenagers want to fit in on one hand and be rebellious on the other,” she writes. “Most people thought I was strange. 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.”
She also opens up about the difficulties she suffered when adopting her son David, calling the process a “real low point in my life.”
“I didn’t know that trying to adopt a child was going to land me in another shit storm,” she says. “But it did. I was accused of kidnapping, child trafficking, using my celebrity muscle to jump ahead in the line, bribing government officials, witchcraft, you name it.”
The essay, which was published earlier today on Harper‘s website, will also appear in the magazine’s print edition. It is perhaps the most open and honest Madge has ever been about her personal life, and offers a interesting glimpse into the unusual struggles and hardships that come with being the most famous woman on Earth.
Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that Madonna’s story is a fascinating one.