Common bravely revealed that he was the victim of a sexual molestation when he was a child in his new memoir Let Love Have the Last Word. Before opening up to the world about his trauma, the rapper had to consider how to tell his family about the news first.

“It wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be,” he told People about sharing the incident with his mom, 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.”

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“But she said, ‘I hate that these things happened and I know people that it’s happened to before. Are you OK?’ She checked on me.”

In his book, Common recalled how he was molested at 9 or 10 years old during a sleepover at a friend’s home.

Amy Sussman/AP Images for Burlington

“[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, at one point during their conversation, said, “‘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—born Lonnie Rashid Lynn—explained.

Let Love Have The Last Word is on bookshelves now.


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