Madonna has revealed she was raped at the age of 20, shortly after she first moved to New York in 1978.
The Queen of pop recounted a horrifying story from when she was attacked at knifepoint, in an essay for Harper's Bazaar's November issue.
She wrote: "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, 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."
Though she admits nothing in her Rochester, Michigan, upbringing had prepared her for her experiences at the time, Madonna says that in New York she "felt like I had plugged into another universe. I felt like a warrior plunging my way through the crowds to survive. Blood pumping through my veins, I was poised for survival. I felt alive."
This isn't the first time Madonna has chosen to remember her ordeal. In a 1995 interview with New Musical Express, Madonna revealed for the first time that she was raped at the beginning of her music career, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Although it was devastating at the time, I know that it made me a much stronger person in retrospect. It forced me to be a survivor," she said.
To read Madonna's essay in Harper's Bazaar in its entirety, head over to HarpersBazaar.com.