Common Reveals He Was Molested at Age 9

Upon the release of his new memoir, Common explained why he decided to open up about being molested as a child.

The 47-year-old rapper, whose real name is Lonnie Lynn, said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that he wanted to help lift the stigma of sexual abuse.

"I hope being open about my childhood trauma can give others the strength to do the same and help them on their healing journeys," he said. "We all have experienced pain and suffering. It's nothing to be ashamed of."

common_getty-Kevin Mazur : Contributor
(Photo: Kevin Mazur / Contributor, Getty)

He also said that he wanted to speak out for cultural reasons. "I talked about being molested because, as a Black man, many men have hidden that. Many people have hidden that. And you carry that weight with you. But at some point, you've got to let it go," he wrote.

In the book, Let Love Have the Last Word, which hit shelves on Tuesday, Common said he didn't realize his childhood trauma until recently, when he was preparing for his role alongside Laura Der in The Tale, a true story about child rape.

"One day, while taking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind," he wrote. "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.'"

He wrote that the abuse occurred when he was 9 or 10 during a family trip to Cleveland, where he had to share a bed with his godbrother's relative, whom he referred to as "Brandon."

"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, according to PEOPLE.

"At some point I felt Brandon's hand on me," he continued. "I pushed him away. I don't remember saying a whole lot besides 'No, no, no.'"

But the abuser would not stop. "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 wrote.

He said he felt "a deep and sudden shame for what happened" after the incident.


The "Glory" singer said he believes he "buried" the memories. "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."

He wrote that he has since forgiven his abuser (who he hasn't seen in over 25 years), and with the help of his therapist is still working through what happened. "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."