Common just revealed that he was sexually abused by a family friend when he was 9 or 10.
The rapper and actor recalled the incident in his new memoir, “Let Love Have the Last Word,” according to People. He said it wasn’t until two years ago, while preparing for his role in “The Tale” alongside actor Laura Dern, that he realized he had been molested. The film centers on a journalist who realizes she was sexually abused when she was younger.
Common wrote in the memoir, which hit bookstores Tuesday, that it was that storyline that triggered his own painful memory of abuse.
“One day, while talking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind. I caught my breath and just kept looping the memories over and over, like rewinding an old VHS tape,” he wrote. “I said ‘Laura, I think I was abused.’”
The rapper and actor wrote that the abuse happened during a family trip to Cleveland when he had to share a bed with his godbrother’s relative, whom he refers to as “Brandon.”
“At some point I felt Brandon’s hand on me. I pushed him away. I don’t remember saying a whole lot besides ‘No, no, no,’” Common wrote.
“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 continued. “I felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened.”
Common added later, however, that he has forgiven his abuser. He hopes that, in the vein of his new memoir, he can use love to combat violence.
“I want to be a person who helps break cycles of violence,” he wrote. “This is love in action and I intend to practice it.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.