Madonna Opens Up About Being Raped at 19, Says She Didn't Report It Because She Was "Humiliated"

"I trusted everybody."

Madonna
(Image credit: Getty)

Madonna first bravely admitted that she was raped to Harper's Bazaar (opens in new tab) in 2013, but while appearing on Howard Stern, the Material Girl gave even more details that left us heartbroken.

Explaining that she had just moved to New York City (opens in new tab) from Michigan at 19 years old, the singer admitted that she was overwhelmed by everything.

"I was in shock, I didn't know a soul," she told Stern. "I was saying, 'Hi' to people on the street like a dork."

Her apartment kept getting burglarized, but the singer still had high hopes for her life and kept going to dance classes—which is where she encountered her rapist.

"I was going to a dance class and the door was locked and I needed money for the payphone," she explained. "[This guy] gave it to me, he was a very friendly guy. I trusted everybody." He then persuaded her to make the call from his home instead.

"I was raped."

Stern asked Madonna if she had reported the crime at the time. Madonna said no. "You've already been violated," she said. "It's just not worth it. It's too much humiliation."

Before you shake your head, you should know—Madonna's not alone. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, an estimated 68% of rapes go unreported (opens in new tab), and 98% of rapists will not spend one day in jail. One in six women in the U.S. will be raped in her lifetime.

We can only hope that Madonna's case—and others who bring the subject to light—will only help increase awareness, end the stigma, and allow those who have experienced abuse to feel safe enough to report it.

Fingers crossed.

You should also check out:

Lena Dunham: I Was Sexually Assaulted in College (opens in new tab)

Redemption for Rape Victims in the Military (and Everywhere) (opens in new tab)

Another Day, Another Column Blaming Victims for Sexual Assault (opens in new tab)

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.