In town for the Soul Train Awards at the Fox Theater, rapper/actor Common talks about his new album and the motivation from backlash after his visit to the White House. (Video by Ryon Horne/Melissa Ruggieri/AJC)

Common reveals he was molested by family friend as a child

Rapper Common is sharing intimate details about his childhood in his new book. 

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In his memoir, titled “Let Love Have the Last Word,” he revealed he was molested by a family friend when he was about 9 or 10, according to People.

He said he didn’t realize he had been violated until about two years ago when he was preparing for his role on “The Tale” alongside actress Laura Dern. The movie focuses on a journalist who realizes she was molested as a child.

“One day, while talking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind. I caught my breath and just kept looping the memories over and over, like rewinding an old VHS tape,” he wrote. “I said ‘Laura, I think I was abused.’”

The rapper, actor and activist said the incident took place during a family trip to Cleveland. He was sharing a bed with his godbrother’s relative, whom he refers to as “Brandon,” when he was touched inappropriately.

“At some point I felt Brandon’s hand on me. I pushed him away. I don’t remember saying a whole lot besides ‘No, no, no,’” Common 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.” 

Common said he “felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened” and believes he buried the painful memories over the year.

He said he has since forgiven his abuser and is working with a therapist. He hopes to use his memoir to combat violence with love. 

“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.”

» RELATED: WATCH: An exclusive interview with rapper, actor Common

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About the Author

Najja Parker
Najja Parker
Najja Parker is a writer and online content producer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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