Common Opens up about Being Molested as a Child
Common is opening up for the first time about being sexually abused as a child and explains how he’s still dealing with it now many years later.
The award-winning rapper/actor/activist let fans in on the traumatic experience in his new memoir, “Let Love Have the Last Word” and credits his actress friend Laura Dern for helping him remember the incident two years ago.
In the excerpt published by PEOPLE, Common (birth name Lonnie Rashid Lynn) recalled being about nine or ten years old and going on a family road trip when the molestation took place.
'After he stopped, he kept asking me to perform it on him. I kept repeating "No" and pushing him away.'
“I was excited for a road trip I was about to take with my family,” he wrote. “My mother; my godmother, Barbara; her son and my godbrother Skeet; and his relative, who I’ll call Brandon.”
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It’s here! I’m proud to share that my latest book, Let Love Have The Last Word, is now on sale! Last night, we celebrated the release out at the historic Riverside Church in Harlem. The celebration continues today in New York where I’ll be over at Barnes & Noble on 5TH Avenue at 1 PM ET and Bloomingdale’s on 59TH Street at 6 PM ET for special book signings. Stop by and say hi! Photos by @NoemieMarguerite + @GettyImages. #LetLove
Common revealed that on one of the nights during their road trip, he was made to share a bed with Brandon, and that’s when things turned ugly.
“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.’ 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. I felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened.”
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I never even dreamed about going to the #grammys let alone possibly winning one. It wasn’t until I saw my brothers @theroots win that I thought it was obtainable. I never take these moments and opportunities for granted. Thanks for having me @recordingacademy . Although #standupforsomething didn’t win, I was truly honored to be invited. @andradaymusic @warren_diane
The “Glory” singer also mentioned in the book that he believes he buried the experience and did not confront it until two years ago while working through a script with Dern.
“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,” he added.
Common confirmed that the memoir narration is the first time he’s spoken about the one-time sexual assault he suffered, but that even though the rapper hasn’t seen his abuser in years, he has since chosen to forgive.
He revealed that his father once kidnapped him (Common) and his mother.
“I want to be a person who helps break cycles of violence,” the Grammy/Oscar winner continued. “This is love in action, and I intend to practice it.”
Speaking with TMZ about his decision to share the traumatic experience, Common said:
“It’s something I know a lot of people experience, especially Black young men and women have experienced it. …A lot of people are afraid to talk about it, but the only way we can stop the cycle is to talk about it, so that’s why I chose to say something.”
The “Selma” actor’s openness dates as far back as 2012 when he released the memoir “One Day It’ll All Make Sense,” in which he revealed that his father once kidnapped him (Common) and his mother.
Common's latest memoir, “Let Love Have The Last Word” was released on Tuesday and is available on multiple platforms.
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