CAUTION: THE BELOW TEXT CONTAINS GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE
Common opened up for the first time about being sexually abused by a family friend in his new memoir "Let Love Have the Last Word."
In the book, the 47-year-old rapper and activist revealed that it wasn't until two years ago when he was working on a scene with actress Laura Dern for their roles in The Tale that the horrifying memory of being molested came flashing back. "One day, while talking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind," he wrote, per 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.'"
Common then recalled the incident, explaining that the abuse happened during a family trip to Cleveland when he had to share a bed with his God-brother's relative.
"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…" he wrote. "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."
The "Glory" rapper added, he believes he "buried" the painful memory for so long to cope. "I just pushed the whole thing out of my head," he wrote. "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."
While Common continues to face his past sexual abuse, he said he's already forgiven his abuser. "I want to be a person who helps break cycles of violence," he wrote. "This is love in action and I intend to practice it."
If you or someone you know has been affected by childhood sexual abuse, we encourage you to reach out for support. Go to RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline rainn.org or call their hotline 1 800 656 HOPE (4673) or the National Child Abuse Hotline 800.4.A.CHILD (422-4453).
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