Madonna: I Was Raped At Knifepoint On The Roof Of A Building

In an explosive new essay written for Harper’s Bazaar, the Queen of Pop, Madonna, reveals that she was raped at knifepoint when she first moved to New York City over 30 years ago.

“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.

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  • tardis

    Wow, that sounds like some struggle.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    This is a genuine question–how did she become so successful? There were many other young female singers in America at the same time, yet Madonna achieved a level of success unknown to most. Why? What did she do differently?

  • CleJoke

    Drugs. As in she didn’t get addicted and OD from taking them. Whitney and Micheal came up at the same time and was on par with her. They f***ed themselves up with drugs. Madge on the other hard crafted and impervious image of perfection. She shield was impenetrable.

  • Caleb in SC

    So, Madonna was the original “fame whore.” Why are we just now hearing about his? Take it with a huge grain of kosher salt.

  • keepcalm


  • keepcalm

    Just wanted to add… the irony of her retelling a rape story and working with Terry Richardson at the same time…

  • John

    @Caleb in SC: Madonna has spoken about being raped several times before, in particular I remember an interview from the mid-nineties where she mentions it. I don’t think it is fitting for anyone to just be as flippant and disrespectful as you about rape.

  • Scribe38

    She is a fucking strong person. Bad shit can happen to anyone but she didn’t let it rule her. I respect that! She could have just as easily allowed it to kill her. She doesn’t view herself as a victim.

  • afrolito

    @Caleb in SC: For you to imply that Madonna is making up a rape story to get publicity, is beyond fucking offensive. You reveal your own misogyny, and utter stupidity. We aren’t just hearing about it. Madonna first discussed this rape in an interview with NME in the mid 90’s. Perhaps you can figure out how to use google, before opening your mouth next time.

  • afrolito

    @Mr. E. Jones: Madonna has that mysterious “it” factor, that only the great stars have. Susan Sarandon said it best, when she said that the history of women in pop music can be divided into two eras, before Madonna, and after Madonna.

  • jimbryant

    If she was sexually assaulted, why didn’t she go to the cops? So much for her being a positive role model for women….

    Her Sex book of 20 years ago was degrading to women. Go cway, Madge.

  • Dxley

    So what does she want? A medal?

  • Stache1

    @Dxley: Wow. The stupid is strong with you.

  • Kevin B

    @Mr. E. Jones: Honestly the big difference between Madonna and the other young females of the time (and today TBH) is her songwriting. From the very beginning of her career she has written most of her songs, and many of them are just great examples of the craft.

    I mean she has a genius for getting attention as well but her ability to keep it really boils down to the fact that she can write songs the people want to hear.

  • afrolito

    @jimbryant: Because every woman who is raped goes to the cops, and those who don’t are obviously lying. You’re stupid, and degrading to the human race.

    The Sex book was powerful and genius. A provocative act of female rebellion, and just plain badass. It was the moment she became legendary. You on the other hand…

  • afrolito

    @Kevin B: It’s always been about the music. The haters never seem to grasp that. You don’t become the most successful female pop star ever, sell over 300 million albums, and sellout world tours, because of manufactured publicity stunts. It’s the work.

  • jimbryant

    Madonna has a very poor singing voice. Her success was based on artifice – ie faking. From Auto Tune to pre-record, her performances covered the gamut of artifice.

    Image-wise, there was nothing there for gay men except for the odd pro-gay shout-out. Her schtick was to appeal to the sleazy straight guy fantasy through the use of nudity and pseudo-lesbian stunts. She hardly ever embraced the gay male aesthetic.

    One of the reasons gay guys supported her was because male role models are not permitted. If they were, they would threaten the careers of women like Madonna. It is in the commercial interests of women like Madonna to stop the rise of gay and bisexual male talent who would replace these women as our idols.

  • jimbryant


    Madonna’s Sex book largely embraced the sleazy straight guy fantasy. It was almost a form of prostitution rather than sexuality.

    It was a lesbian-heavy book, and very light-on in terms of male homosexuality. When a woman markets herself using lesbianism, it’s a straight male-pleasing act.

    A lot of gay men got fooled by Madonna. Gay men gave her money and she gave them crumbs.

  • bewegung

    @jimbryant: sorry ,but the reality is, that madonnas sex book was a revolution and a clearance for women , i bet the most women dont feel degraded by watching this book!

  • bewegung

    @jimbryant: you are telling bullshit and have no conception of madonna! i know a lot of gays and lesbian – and i can promise you that they are feeling supported by madonnas sex book , its a kind of provoking sexual education… this is the phase she became a ruler in the gay /lesbian/ trans-gender scene !

  • jimbryant


    Madonna’s Sex book contained anti-gay stereotypes. It contained only one real male homosexual pictorial, and it was from an adult movie theater. Hardly inspiring.

    There were numerous lesbian pictorials, and most of them embraced tbe straight male perspective of lesbianism.

    Madonna is a creep who caused a lot of damage to gay men and women.


    its your opinion and okay for me , you dont like her ,i dont give a shit … you want to deform her – go for it – it shows only how pathetic you are…

  • John

    @jimbryant: Caused a lot of damage? Who the hell do you think you are? Madonna, along with only a few other straight allies stood side-by-side with the community during the AIDS crisis. Madonna brought thoughtful and passionate awareness and support for our community. She lost several close friends during that period, she fought hard for the LGBTQ community and as someone who lost a family member to AIDS, I should know.

  • jimbryant

    Madonna knew how to manipulate gay men. Now, most gay men have woken up to how phony she is.

    When she kissed Britney at the MTV music awards ten years ago, do you honestly think she did it to help the GLBT community? She’s an attention wh-ore who plays to the sleazy straight guy fantasy, and only occasionally gives a shout out to gay guys. She’s a manipulative bitch.


    @jimbryant: i can only repeat myself, like you …

    its your opinion and okay for me , you dont like her ,i dont give a shit … you want to deform her – go for it – it shows only how pathetic you are…

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  • John

    @Red Meat: Misogynistic and stupid are you?

  • Tackle

    Strange but Queerty is one of many news outltes making the claim that the rape incident is an explosive NEW revelation by Madonna. Madonna spoke about this more than 20yrs ago. All people have to do is research. I think part of the problem with writers not knowing is, many of the writers could be in their early 20s or late 20s. So a writer who is, lets say 28 now, would have been around 8-yrs-old when Madonna was a superstar. Madonna today is more like an icon. And many young adults are not going to bother to read the bios of icons.


    @Red Meat: what are trying ?

    even when – she changed so much in the music industry – and every female and male artist will tell you the same – so dont even try to soil her legacy …

  • dvlaries

    What lasts (and counts) when the personal foibles and failings are long forgotten is the music, and Madonna made some of the most irresistible confections in American pop history, and time so far, has not managed to fade them.

  • jwrappaport

    A very sad story. Having said that, she always seemed like a load of shtick and attention-grabbing antics to me. I don’t get it – so much of her music is so utterly devoid of meaningful content. I feel like I have this argument with all my gay friends who salivate over her very mention, yet I’m still unconvinced that she’s really done anything of lasting (or really any) importance. She is a living reminder that every generation thinks it was the first to discover sex.

  • Meat Joy

    I shall Kowtow for Madonna and her survival!

    I like I how she articulated her vision, when she knew she was on the right path. “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.” This is it. When you’re in this position, you’re doing great things. She knows.

  • Niall

    Actually this isn’t new, not sure why it’s just getting headlines now. It’s been known for a while now.

  • ho

    There are a lot of really rich, really stupid people in business
    who surround themselves with the right people as she did. Isn’t she 65?

  • Fitz

    I’m not a huge fan.. in fact I am bored shitless with the Madame BDSM crap.. BUT… to answer Mr. E’s question: She really was the FIRST in that long string of women.. she did open the door. She was a white girl who sang light Black pop, and she was very aware of image as MTV took over the world… they supported each other’s business perfectly. I don’t know anyone else in the early 80’s who did it nearly so well. AND.. she was smart or lucky enough to both over expose herself and to keep people guessing, and wanting more access to her.

  • GlitterKidder

    Who is she?

  • jimbryant

    Madonna was manipulative. Her image changes were calculated. It borrowed heavily from others, such as when she appropriated the image of Marilyn Monroe. Her portrayals of women were sexist and exploitative, abd borderline porn.

    She was given a pass because she was a woman. If she were a gay man, no way would she have been successful.

  • Sleepy

    Madonna is old and over and no one cares about her, which is why there are always dozens of comments on here saying so…

    People have been saying her career is over since 1985 and that’s she’s old since 1992… Madonna just eats the hate as part of her macrobiotic breakfast. Hate away… it only makes her stronger.

  • Sleepy

    Also, Madonna has talked about the rape incident several times over the last couple of DECADES. This isn’t new information.

  • jimbryant

    Madonna gave us Miley. Nuff said.

  • Carlton Raines

    Some gay men are so vicious aren’t they? I wonder why that is?

  • krystalkleer

    @jimbryant: and yer nothing but an whiney anal wart who probably has to take the dishes outta the sink before he pee’s in it!

  • MiralParis

    @jimbryant: @jimbryant:

    Am I seriously reading the comment that if the story was true she would have reported it? And that being raped means she is no longer a role model?

    There is another article I just saw about a college-age guy seeing his rapist recommended as a friend on facebook and the police doing nothing. And yet this guy has the serve to make some kind of art about it?

    My question to the readers of this mostly male site, is, “Is this an example of sexism by someone who would never write such a thing in the comments at the other article, or is it something else?”

Comments are closed.