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Madonna in Harper's Bazaar November 2013

Madonna Shares the Struggles that Made Her Stronger

Madonna is in a reflective mood in the November issue of Harper's Bazaar. In her cover essay, the superstar thinks back on her 20s and says it was an easier time to be daring, since society expects you to be eccentric when you're young. Considering Miley Cyrus's recent antics, it's certainly true that many of today's pop stars have followed Madonna's example of pushing the boundaries, although not every young starlet takes the same outlandish path. Throughout the piece, Madonna also looks back at one of the low points in her life and how she dealt with it, as well as the sexual assault she survived when she first moved to New York City. Read on for the insightful quotes.

On pushing boundaries: "When you're 25, it's a little bit easier to be daring, especially if you are a pop star, because eccentric behavior is expected from you."

On the assault she survived in New York: "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."

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On her decision to adopt her son David: "I decided that I had an embarrassment of riches and that there were too many children in the world without parents or families to love them."

On the fallout from the adoption: "I didn't know that trying to adopt a child was going to land me in another sh*t storm. But it did. I was accused of kidnapping, child trafficking, using my celebrity muscle to jump ahead in the line, bribing government officials, witchcraft, you name it. Certainly I had done something illegal!"

On how the accusations impacted her: "A real low point in my life. I could get my head around people giving me a hard time for simulating masturbation onstage or publishing my Sex book, even kissing Britney Spears at an awards show, but trying to save a child's life was not something I thought I would be punished for."

On what she learned: "If you aren't willing to fight for what you believe in, then don't even enter the ring.”

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