Common the Rapper Announces He Was Molested as a Child in His New Memoir


On May 7, 2019, 47-year-old actor Common revealed that he was molested as a child and spoke out about it in his memoir “Let Love Have the Last Word.” He made the decision to go public for the first time about his painful childhood abuse, in order to help heal others who may have been in the same situation.

Though Common is presently on a press tour for his new memoir, he expressed to Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” that he had some doubts about speaking publicly about the situation. He did, however, decide to speak about it. Common stated that he knows how sexual abuse is something rarely talked about, but that it is something that happens often, especially among African American males and females. He said that he wanted to shed light on the tragic happenings to stop the vicious cycle.

Common’s memoir objectively focuses on therapy and the importance of love; not only how to receive, but also to give it. One section in particular frankly talks about his truth concerning his childhood sexual assault, though he never directly states the abuser’s name. According to the actor, it was not until about two years ago that he recalled the situation. Common recounts speaking with a friend of his, Laura Dern, while on a movie set for their upcoming movie “The Tale.” He says that old memories flooded his mind and he told Dern that he thinks he had been molested as a child.

The alleged assault took place when Common was approximately nine or ten years old. In his memoir, he gives a detailed account of what he remembers happening on his road trip to Cleveland as a young child. Common states that he traveled with his mother, godmother, godbrother, and his relative, whose name he did not disclose, but instead gave him a fake name. He recalls that the relative, who he calls “Brandon,” continued to touch on him while he repeatedly said “no.” He says “Brandon” pulled down his shorts and molested him, leaving the rapper with what he described as “deep and sudden shame.”

Common says that after the incident occurred, he buried and suppressed all the surrounding memories. He also stated

“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.”

Written by Trinity Oglesby


ET: Common Reveals He Was the Victim of Childhood Sexual Assault in Emotional New Memoir

CNN: Common reveals he was molested as a child

EW: Exclusive: Common on why he reveals his childhood trauma in new memoir


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