From the Madonna interview on New Musical Express, December 1995 (which for some reason the media seem to ignore when they pick up sentational excerpts from her current mini-bio on Harper’s Bazaar).
NME: I didn’t know that you’d been raped.
Madonna: You’re the first person I’ve ever told.
NME: Was it a date rape situation, someone you knew?
Madonna: No a complete stranger.
NME: Did you get help afterwards?
Madonna: No. I was very young and I didn’t know anybody. I’d just moved to New York and It was a very educational experience.
NME: Would you rather stop talking about this?
Madonna: I don’t want to talk about it only in that
I don’t want to get into this Oprah Winfrey/Sinead O’Connor thing of, Oh, everybody, all these horrible things have happened to me!’ I don’t want to make it an issue. I think that I’ve had what a lot of people would consider to be horrific experiences in my life. But I don’t want people to feel sorry for me because I don’t.
It happened a long time ago so over the years I’ve come to terms with it. In a way it was a real eye-openning experience. I’d only lived in Now York for a year and I was very young, very trusting of people. I came from the mid-West and I was walking around New York City like everyone was my friend. That experience completely turned me round in terms of becoming much more street smart and much more savvy. It’s that old expression, y’know, everything than doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I was very disturbed about it afterwards but I knew that I couldn’t go back home. There was just no way that I was going back home.
NME: How could you bear to turn that experience into art? Surely touched a nerve in you?
Madonna: No, because in the photograph it isn’t me being raped. As I said, it was something I wanted. I’m playing the coquette, the virgin or whatever, and they are the bad boys. They take me but only because I give them the opportunity to.
Madonna stares at me pointedly to nuke sure that I understand and then prepares to close the subject.
Madonna: The thing about what happened to me is that.. although it was devastating at the time, I know that is made me a much stronger person in retrospect. It forced me to be a survivor. That’s all there is to it.