Rapper Common alleges childhood abuse

US actor and rapper Common says he was sexually abused as a child.
US actor and rapper Common says he was sexually abused as a child.

Grammy and Oscar-winning rapper Common has said he was molested as a child.

The actor and musician, 47, said he was going public with the attack to help other victims.

He tweeted: "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.

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

As well as his music career, Common is known for starring in films including American Gangster, Run All Night and Smallfoot.

The Chicago-born entertainer wrote about being molested in his new memoir, Let Love Have The Last Word.

"I felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened", he said. According to People magazine, the incident happened during a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, when he was about 10 years old.

He did not fully identify his alleged abuser, instead giving him a pseudonym in the book. Common said the memory of being molested returned to him two years ago while he was working on a scene with the actress Laura Dern.

Common, whose real name is Lonnie Lynn, won the Grammy for best R&B song in 2003 for his song Love Of My Life.

In 2015 he won the Academy Award for best original song in recognition of his track Glory from the film Selma, a historical drama about civil rights marches held by Martin Luther King Jr.

Australian Associated Press