Madonna reveals she was raped at knifepoint while young in N.Y.
A year later, Beatty appeared in Madonna’s controversial
And then there was Guy. Madonna and
The singer’s best preparation for the demands of directing a movie may have been her ambitious, visually driven live shows. “When you’re putting a show together, you’re dealing with so many elements,” she said. “You’re creating a stage and working with lights and costumes and dancers who you could say are the actors. You’re paying attention to the minutiae and you’re also stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. I always like to tell stories in my show and have some kind of an arc. I have a crew that I rely on desperately and ... I’m working with creative people, so I need to be judicious with the way that I speak with them. I’ve always been intricately involved in every aspect of my show. I know where all the nails are on the stage.” (Ettore Ferrari / EPA)
“Sometimes [Lourdes] will do certain things or say certain things and I’ll feel like I’m looking in a mirror,” Madonna said. “I’ll get really irritated with her and then I’ll stop and think, ‘But that’s what I used to do.’ Or ‘That’s what I do.’ If I complain to my friends and say, ‘Oh, she’s so strong willed or she’s so opinionated,’ they look at me and go, ‘Well, what did you expect?’ ”
“I have 12 minutes and 40 seconds to do something extravagant and exciting in the middle of something that’s quite sacred to all of America,” she said. “No one’s asked me to tone down my moves. They were curious about my costumes and the costumes of the dancers.... They were very clear with us up front that they don’t want nipples or anything like that, and I didn’t have any intention of doing that, so I was like, ‘OK, we’re cool.’ I’m more nervous about this than most things I’ve done, simply because ... it’s not how I’m used to working. I’m a perfectionist. I like everything to be done just so, and I like to run things and run things and run things until people can do it with their eyes closed.” (Mark Cornelison / Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)
In this photo, Madonna performs in concert at the Forum on May 24, 2004. (Los Angeles Times)
MORE: Madonna’s MDNA tour by the numbers (Jeff Fusco / Getty Images)
Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon-Talley said she “turned up around 8:30 p.m. dressed as a Louise Brooks-sleek brunette-bobbed punk diva, resplendent with marvelous studs, and a short Givenchy Haute Couture jacket that topped off her stockinged legs and fuchsia heels.” (Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images)
In this photo, Madonna waves in central Rome after visiting her Hard Candy Fitness center, a global chain of gyms opening around the world, on August 21, 2013. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP / Getty Images)
Madonna dares to reveal one very personal truth in an essay for “The Daring Issue” of Harper’s Bazaar: When she was young and trying to make it in New York City, she was raped at knifepoint.
The pop diva tosses off the information almost as an aside, as if it’s something she has compartmentalized over time.
“New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be,” she 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, 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 essay itself is a rundown of key “daring” decisions in Madonna’s life, as presented by Madonna.
Among them: moving to New York from Michigan, moving to a foreign country, adopting children internationally, studying Kabbalah and deciding as a teen not to shave her legs or under her arms (she changed her mind on that last one, eventually).
Madonna says that after all of her outlandish behavior onstage, she didn’t expect to be “punished” by the public for adopting abroad, but took a big lesson from the whole experience.
“One of the many things I learned from all of this: If you aren’t willing to fight for what you believe in, then don’t even enter the ring.”
Now, she says, being daring is her norm.
“I have been blessed with four amazing children. I try to teach them to think outside the box. To be daring. To choose to do things because they are the right thing to do, not because everybody else is doing them,” she writes. “I have started making films, which is probably the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. I am building schools for girls in Islamic countries and studying the Qur’an. I think it is important to study all the holy books. As my friend Yaman always tells me, a good Muslim is a good Jew, and a good Jew is a good Christian, and so forth. I couldn’t agree more.
“To some people this is a very daring thought.”
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