After years of fear and silence, Rapper and actor Common opens up about the sexual abuse he endured as a child.
In his new memoir entitled “Let Love Have the Last Word”, Common discloses the traumatic ordeal of being abused by a relative he calls “Brandon”. Common, real name Lonnie Lynn, was only nine or ten at the time of the abuse and on a trip to his aunt’s house in Cleveland.
“I felt Brandon’s hand on me,” the now 47-year-old writes in his book. “I pushed him away. I don’t remember saying a whole lot besides ‘No, no, no.’ He kept saying ‘It’s okay, It’s okay,’ as he pulled down my shorts and molested me.” Common states that he felt a “deep and sudden shame” about what happened, and the memory remained buried over the years.
USA Today reported the Oscar and Grammy-winning celebrity discovered the abuse while rehearsing for his movie “The Tale” with co-star Laura Dern. In the HBO film, Dern plays a woman coming to grips with her own child sex abuse trauma. Common relates that while reviewing through the script with Dern, the memory resurfaced and left Common stunned.
“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 writes in his autobiography. Common now desires to use his story as a platform to inspire others to open up about their own experiences and be comfortable talking about it. “I’m a black man, and we don’t talk about those issues in the way that we could,” the rapper said. “I wanted to create a space for people who have experienced that to be able to share that. That’s part of the healing.”
Common’s autobiography released Tuesday, and he hopes being open about his experience will help other child sex abuse victims on their path towards healing.