Common says he was molested by a family friend as a child

Common just revealed that he was sexually abused by a family friend when he was 9 or 10. 

The rapper and actor recalled the incident in his new memoir, “Let Love Have the Last Word,” according to People. He said it wasn’t until two years ago, while preparing for his role in “The Tale” alongside actor Laura Dern, that he realized he had been molested. The film centers on a journalist who realizes she was sexually abused when she was younger.

Common wrote in the memoir, which hit bookstores Tuesday, that it was that storyline that triggered his own painful memory of abuse. 

“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.’”

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 07: Common attends The Let Love Collection Launch And Book Signing At Bloomingdale's 59th Street's Studio 59 on May 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Bloomingdale's)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 07: Common attends The Let Love Collection Launch And Book Signing At Bloomingdale's 59th Street's Studio 59 on May 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Bloomingdale's)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 07: Common promotes his book "Let Love Have the Last Word" at Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on May 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Sean Glover (L) and Common (c) backstage at Common Presents Let Love...An Expression of Art, Words & Song at Riverside Church on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Common appears onstage during Common Presents Let Love...An Expression of Art, Words & Song at Riverside Church on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Common appears onstage during Common Presents Let Love...An Expression of Art, Words & Song at Riverside Church on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 06: Common performs during Common's Let Love: An Expression Of Art, Words & Song at Riverside Church on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Common's Book Tour In New York)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 18: Common attends game three of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center on April 18, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The rapper and actor wrote that the abuse happened during a family trip to Cleveland when he had to share a bed with his godbrother’s relative, whom he refers to as “Brandon.”

“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,” he continued. “I felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened.”

Common added later, however, that he has forgiven his abuser. He hopes that, in the vein of his new memoir, he can use love to combat violence. 

“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.”

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

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