Queen of Pop Madonna has opened up about her first year in New York City in a recent essay for Harper’s Bazaar magazine. In the essay, the pop icon discusses the myriad travails in her career, including being raped at knifepoint on a rooftop after moving to New York in 1978.
In the essay, Madonna explains that she moved to the city in the late 70s in order to become “a REAL artist.” But as she notes in the essay, “New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be.” She then describes a tumultuous year in which she faced numerous life-threatening situations.
“[NYC] did not welcome me with open arms,” she writes. “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.”
The artist also describes the media “shit storm” that occurred in the wake of her 2006 adoption of son David Banda as a particularly low point in her career, writing “trying to save a child’s life was not something I thought I would be punished for.”
“I was accused of kidnapping, child trafficking, using my celebrity muscle to jump ahead in the line, bribing government officials, witchcraft, you name it,” she writes. “Certainly I had done something illegal! This was an eye-opening experience. A real low point in my life.”
The artist also took the opportunity to elaborate on the context behind some of her more controversial stunts, such as “simulating masturbation onstage or publishing [the] Sex book,” writing “Yes, I like to provoke; it’s in my DNA. But nine times out of 10, there’s a reason for it.”