Common reveals he was molested as a child in new memoir
The rapper says he “buried” the memory for many years.
Common is ready to help others find healing.
In his new book, Let Love Have the Last Word, a memoir about his life, the 47-year-old rapper opens up about being molested as a child. Although Common says he suppressed the memory for years, the harrowing experience came back to surface while work-shopping a scene for The Tale with actress Laura Dern.
The 2018 film revolves around childhood sexual abuse and triggered old memories of the family road trip where Common says his own abuse took place. “I was excited for a road trip I was about to take with my family. My mother; my godmother, Barbara; her son and my god-brother Skeet; and his relative, who I’ll call Brandon,” he writes.
“At some point I felt Brandon’s hand on me,” he continues. “I pushed him away. I don’t remember saying a whole lot besides ‘No, no, no.’”
Common says his abuser persisted anyway. “He kept saying ‘It’s okay, It’s okay,’ as he pulled down my shorts and molested me. After he stopped he kept asking me to perform it on him. I kept repeating ‘No’ and pushing him away,” he recalls. The Chicago native also admits he felt “a deep and sudden shame for what happened.”
In trying to figure out why he “buried” the memory, Common suggested maybe it was “a matter of survival.” He writes, “Even now, two years after that flash resurgence of memories, as I’m writing, I’m still working through all of this in myself and with my therapist.”
On Tuesday (May 7), the Academy Award-winner told TMZ he shared his story with the hopes that it will help other black men and women suffering in silence. “A lot of people are afraid to talk about it, but the only way we stop the cycle is to talk about it so that’s why I chose to say something.”
While Common hasn’t spoken to or seen his abuser in over 25 years, he says he has forgiven him. “I want to be a person who helps break cycles of violence,” he declares in his memoir. “This is love in action and I intend to practice it.”
Let Love Have The Last Word is available now.