Common is opening up about a traumatic childhood experience.
In his newly released memoir, Let Love Have the Last Word, the Oscar-winning rapper recalled the moment he realized he was molested as a child. Two years ago, while working with Laura Dern, the haunting memory came rushing back.
The pair were working on their HBO drama “The Tale” at the time, “One day, while talking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind,” he wrote according to an excerpt obtained by 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.’”
He later recalled the abuse happening when he was “9 or 10,” “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…”
“At some point, I felt Brandon’s hand on me,” he continued. “I pushed him away. I don’t remember saying a whole lot besides ‘No, no, no.’”
And despite saying “no,” his attacker wouldn’t 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.”
He added, “I felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened.” And to cope with the traumatic experience, he wrote about how he buried his feelings: “I just pushed the whole thing out of my head.”
“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,” reads the excerpt.
Common elaborated on why it was important to share his story in a two-part tweet posted Wednesday. “I talked about being molested because, as a black man, many men have hidden that,” he wrote. “I hope being open about my childhood trauma can give others the strength to do the same…”
Let Love Have the Last Word is available now.