In his new memoir, “Let Love Have the Last Word,” rapper Common recounts being molested as a kid, and it’s a painful memory that he was only able to recall two years ago with the help of his friend/actress Laura Dern, while workshopping a scene together for their roles in “The Tale.”
Before opening up to the world about the incident, the Chicago-native had to break the news to his family first, Essence reports.
“It wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be,” he told PEOPLE about sharing the traumatic incident with his mother, Dr. Mahalia Hines.
“She’s worked in Chicago public schools as a principal and teacher, so the stories she’s heard,” the 47-year-old actor continued. “Obviously it’s different when it’s your child.”
Common said his mother commented, “I hate that these things happened and I know people that it’s happened to before. Are you OK?”
“She checked on me,” he added.
In his book, Common reveals he was molested at age 9 or 10 during a sleepover at his aunt’s home by a family friend he refers to as Brandon.
“[Brandon] kept saying, ‘It’s okay, it’s okay’ as he pulled down my shorts and molested me,” Common wrote in “Let Love Have the Last Word.” “Thinking back, I should’ve gotten up from the bed and ran out of the room; but I felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened, and for what he kept trying to make happen as I had brought it all on myself.”
Common told People that his mother noted during their conversation, “‘You seem like a happy person.’”
“But that’s another reason why I talked about it. Some people that seem happy are not always happy,” the Oscar winner explained.
Common admits that he “pushed the whole thing out of my head,” he writes.
“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.”
“Let Love Have The Last Word” is on bookshelves now.