Madonna Reveals That She Was Raped Years Ago

Posted: November 29, 1995

Madonna revealed in an interview published yesterday that she was raped early in her career. "It is not an experience I would ever glamorize," the pop star says in the British mag New Musical Express. "Although it was devastating at the time, I know that it made me a much stronger person. . . . It forced me to be a survivor."

She declined to give details except to say she was "very young, very trusting of people" after having moved to New York the year before.

"I've come to terms with it," she said, noting that it was "a real eye- opening experience" that made her "much more street smart and savvy."

The subject came up in a discussion of her book, Sex, which has a fantasy rape photo. "I know that there are a lot of women who have that fantasy where they are overpowered by two men or a group of men," said Madonna. "In my photograph it's obviously completely consensual. Everybody wants to do it."

MARKINGS

* Anna Nicole Smith's in drug rehab, TV's Hard Copy reports, although a publicist for the model-actress says he's "going to stick" with an earlier statement that she's "convalescing in a private location." He added: "She's trying to be as private as she can." Smith, 27, was hospitalized for six days after mixing prescription drugs before her Nov. 12 release.

Chinese pop star Wei Wei was bounced from the state-supported Central Dance and Singing Troupe because she broke rules and wasn't sorry, a Beijing daily reports. Apparently Wei, who's sold millions of albums in China and is wed to American musician Michael Smith, kept half the tix sales - $12,000 - from two China concerts last year. The paper said she was supposed to share it with 80 others involved. It also said she gave two China concerts without permission. Wei's been invited to perform at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

COUNTRY TIME

* The Highwaymen - Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash - are bringing country to Asia. The four opened a tour Sunday before 5,000 toe-tappers in Singapore. "It just sounded like Texas to me," said Nelson. "I didn't realize so many people would know who we are." Sure, Gabby Hayes is world-famous!

Garth Brooks' "The Dance" is the best country song of all time, according to a DJ poll by Country Weekly mag. Second was Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," and No. 3 was Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man."

LOCALLY CONNECTED

* WFLN-FM resident winer Phillip Silverstone hosts his eighth annual Wines of the World benefit tasting - 150 samples - from 6 to 10 tonight at the Hotel Atop the Bellevue. Money goes to Philly's Department of Recreation and the international health group INCLEN. Cost: $75, or $130 a couple.

Local folkie John Flynn will head a Prism holiday show, at 10 p.m. Friday, that's geared to heighten awareness of Philabundance, which feeds the hungry here. Among others appearing: Kenn Kweder, Caryn Lin, Beth Williams, X's & O's and Between the Lines.

A group of local African American artists and activists will hold a memorial service for Philly poet Essex Hemphill, at noon on Saturday at the Friends Center, 15th and Cherry Streets. Essex, who died early this month of AIDS at age 38, edited the journal Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men, and wrote the book Ceremonies.

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein, novelist Howard Fast, pianist Michael Feinstein and the TV "God Squad" of Rabbi Marc Gellman and Msgr. Thomas Hartman are the mere tip of the iceberg as far as luminaries appearing at the Jewish Community Center's Festival of Arts, Books and Culture, opening Saturday in Cherry Hill. For details on the sixth annual nine-day event: 609-662-8800.

COUPLES

* Today contains the moment of truth for Ivana Trump and Riccardo Mazzucchelli. With great reluctance, he has apparently signed the pre-nup that was holding things up. Her ice-blue dress is ironed. There's a reception reservation at Manhattan's Le Cirque's L'Orangerie. Vow-exchange is set for its lobby. Just do it!

A court fight is brewing between John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal over their three kids. He's apparently taken over as the primary parent while living with preggers girlfriend Patty Smyth. O'Neal reportedly tucked herself into a rehab facility to deal with a cocaine problem that emerged in the aftermath of a failed acting-career resuscitation. Lawyers for both sides are conspicuously mum. Her actor father, Ryan O'Neal, is said to have failed to talk McEnroe out of initiating a court fight.

Oprah Winfrey must love that Stedman Graham. Didn't she just order for him

from the Neiman Marcus catalog a $35,000 limited edition BMW roadster, like the one in the new James Bond movie, to put under his Christmas tree? Meanwhile, the TV star on today's show denies talk that she is preggers. Says she "put on some pounds because I am too tired to run eight miles a day."

Eric Lutes, Del on TV's Caroline In the City, has split with his wife of five years, Christine Romeo. She says that after his success, he "treats me like dirt. . . . I asked him to move out. . . . It's up to Eric to put the trust back in our marriage." No kids.

TV OR NOT TV

* For the first time since 1950 there will be no Bob Hope Christmas special. The comedian's producer-daughter, Linda, said it "was a mutual decision by NBC and us." However, Hope, 92, will introduce the Associated Press all-America football team as he has done on past yule shows. He'll do it Dec. 23 on Ahmad Rashad's show after the National Football League game between the New York Giants and San Diego Chargers.

A TV adaptation of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys starring Woody Allen, Peter Falk and Sarah Jessica Parker will air early next year on CBS. The version premiered Tuesday night at the New York Friars Club.

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