In a just-released memoir ‘Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir, he opens up for the first time about being molested as a child.
In the book, the Chicago rapper whose real name is Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rashid Lynn, disclosed that he was molested at the age of 9 or 10 years. He says the memories began to surface as he and his friend, actress Laura Dern, were prepping for their scenes in the 2018 dramatic film, The Tale.
He wrote; “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.’”
Common goes on to share what he now recalls happening to him when he was just 9 or 10 years old while 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.”
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. “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.”