Common is opening up like never before. In his new memoir “Let Love Have the Last Word” the rapper and activist reveals he was molested when he was a child.
According to the 46-year old, he had been suppressing the memory and didn’t realize it until about two years ago. He says while workshopping a scene for his role in “The Tale” with actress Laura Dern he suddenly remembered the hair-raising moment from his past.
“One day, while talking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind,” he wrote, according to People. “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 Grammy-winner said the incident happened when he was about 9 or 10 years old when he was growing up in Chicago. “I was excited for a road trip I was about to take with my family. My mother; my godmother, Barbara; her son and my godbrother Skeet; and his relative, who I’ll call Brandon…”
Arriving at his Aunt’s house in Cleveland, Common says he and Brandon were made to share a bed together one night of the trip.
“At some point I felt Brandon’s hand on me,” he writes. “I pushed him away. I don’t remember saying a whole lot besides ‘No, no, no.’”
But Common says his abuser would not stop: “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,” the rapper writes. “I felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened.”
To cope, the “Glory” singer believes he “buried” the painful memories. “I just pushed the whole thing out of my head,” he writes. “Maybe it’s a matter of survival—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.”
In the memoir the Oscar winner also reflects on his personal journey with love and the knowledge he’s gleaned from therapy. “I want to be a person who helps break cycles of violence,” he writes. “This is love in action and I intend to practice it.”
The star says that he has never spoken about the one-time incident with the accused (who he hasn’t seen in over 25 years) but he has forgiven him, for his and others’ sake.
Let Love Have The Last Word is available now.
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