In his almost 30-year career and through 11 albums, Common has revealed many painful truths about himself, and he’s doing it again in his new memoir “Let Love Have the Last Word,” released on Tuesday.
In it, the rapper and actor revealed that he was molested at around 10 years old while on a family road trip. But he wasn’t able to recall the incident until two years ago while discussing a script with actress Laura Dern for their HBO film “The Tale.”
“One day, while talking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind,” wrote Common. “I caught my breath and just kept looping the memories over and over, like rewinding an old VHS tape. I said ‘Laura, I think I was abused.'”
The 47-year-old said the abuse was committed by a relative of his godbrother.
“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,” Common wrote.
The road trip brought him to his aunt’s house in Cleveland, where had to share a bed with Brandon, and that’s when the abuse began.
“At some point I felt Brandon’s hand on me,” wrote Common. “I pushed him away. I don’t remember saying a whole lot besides ‘No, no, no.'”
The rapper noted that even though he tried to stop the assault, he felt shameful inside.
“He kept saying ‘It’s okay, It’s okay,’ as he pulled down my shorts and molested me,” Common detailed. “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.”
The Chicago-raised artist explained that he suppressed the incident since it happened, and two years after that script reading with Dern he was still working it out through therapy.
He also hasn’t seen Brandon in 25 years and for inner peace chose to forgive him.
On Tuesday, the veteran wordsmith spoke about “Let Love Have the Last Word” during an interview on “Good Morning America” and said he wanted to share what happened to help others.
“We don’t talk about those issues in ways that we could,” he said. “So I felt I wanted to create a space for people who have experienced that to be able to share that. That’s part of the healing, to be honest. No sooner than I told the story, one of my good friends came out and told me it had happened to him.”