LOS ANGELES - US pop icon Madonna was raped at knifepoint when she was a young struggling artist in New York, she revealed in an article published Friday.
The 55-year-old also recalled being held up at gunpoint and having her seedy apartment burgled three times, saying she was "scared shitless" at times before she started making it as a singer and dancer.
In a piece for Harper's Bazaar, she also talked about her time living in Britain married to director Guy Ritchie, saying there is "nothing more beautiful than the English countryside," and revealed that she is now studying the Koran.
Describing her arrival in the Big Apple from the Midwest, where she grew up, she wrote: "New York wasn't everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms," and described "paying my rent by posing nude for art classes, staring at people staring at me naked."
"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 tall buildings and the massive scale of New York took my breath away. The sizzling-hot sidewalks and the noise of the traffic and the electricity of the people rushing by me on the streets was a shock to my neurotransmitters," she added.
She continued: "I 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.