Anitta is a Brazilian pop superstar making a mark on the world with her modern twist on the funky beats she grew up with. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as Larissa de Macedo Machado, Anitta, 30, has been making power moves in the last decade with several Grammy nominations and five albums to her name. Unfortunately, her fierce, confident, and sexual persona is a mask to hide a deep trauma from her past: She was sexually assaulted as a 14 or 15-year-old teenager and felt forced to tell her story because a journalist on Twitter was alluding to it.
“I felt so mad that this guy felt that he knew something about me that could hurt me,” she candidly told Harper’s Bazaar in an interview published on Tuesday, May 30.“I don’t like when people try to threaten me or say, ‘Oh, I know this and that about you.’ Oh really? Go there. Say it. If I don’t say it before you, I really don’t care.”
The “Girl From Rio” hitmaker also praised the women before her who spoke about their past sexual assaults, which made her feel more comfortable coming out with her story. She also said she hopes to inspire other women to come forward with their stories.
“I transformed what happened then into something that helped me come out on top, in a better place,” she emotionally explained to Harper’s Bazaar. “For all of you asking yourselves how Anitta was born, that’s how. She was born out of my desire and need to be a brave woman. One who no one could ever harm, who no one could ever bring to tears, whose feelings no one could ever hurt, who could find a way out of any situation … that’s how I created that character.”
She further added, “It was like when I created my character, Anitta, I just wanted this woman that nobody could f***with. Because in the moment, you still blame yourself; you think that if you behaved differently, that wouldn’t happen to you.”
And although fans may feel super connected to Anitta, she admitted that the real her is nothing like her stage character. “I was like, if I have this behavior, nobody will ever f*** with me,” she recalled. “Before anyone [else], I go there: ‘Oh, I had sex. I did this. I did that.’ The real me? I don’t have sex for months and I don’t care. But Anitta would never. She f**** every day.”
Anitta made waves earlier this year when she was the first Brazilian singer to be nominated for a Grammy in 50 years. “For me, for the whole country it’s like we’re making history right now,” she gushed to E! News on Feb. 5. “Today I feel like a winner ‘cause for me, winning or not, it’s already the biggest victory to be here part of this major thing. So, I’m feeling like a winner no matter what.” Anitta was nominated for Best New Artist at the 65th GRAMMY Awards. Samara Joy took home the prize.