Entertainment Music How Common Told His Mom About His Childhood Molestation "It wasn't as heavy as I thought it would be," says the star of sharing his childhood trauma with his mom, Dr. Mahalia Hines, ahead of releasing his new book By Janine Rubenstein Janine Rubenstein Instagram Twitter Janine Rubenstein is Editor-at-Large at PEOPLE and host of PEOPLE Every Day podcast, a daily dose of breaking news, pop culture and heartwarming human interest stories. Formerly Senior Editor of music content, she's also covered crime, human interest and television news throughout her many years with the brand. Prior to PEOPLE she's written for Essence, The Cape Times newspaper and Los Angeles Magazine among others. On-screen Rubenstein can be found featured on shows like Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight and she routinely hosts PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly's star-studded Red Carpet Live specials. Follow the San Francisco native, Black Barbie collector and proud mom of two on Instagram and Twitter @janinerube People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 15, 2019 09:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Randy Shropshire/Getty Common recently opened up to the world about his childhood trauma, but before that happened, he was compelled to share the troubling news with family first. The rapper, actor and activist born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, 47, sat down with PEOPLE in this week’s issue to discuss some of his life’s toughest moments, which he shares in his new memoir Let Love Have the Last Word. When it came to sharing details of the molestation he says he suffered from a family friend at around age 9, he spoke out to be a light for others. “I wanted to go places where I feel like as a black man we don’t always go. It hasn’t been part of our culture. When I was talking about being molested, it was like man, you know what? I’m going to write about this,” he says. Common Reveals He Was Molested In New Book — and Actress Laura Dern Helped Him Remember “In black and brown communities we do deal with this. I’ve visited prisons where men are like, ‘I was sexually abused.’ A guy on my own team came to me and said, ‘It happened to me when I was younger.’ I’m not caring about the stigma. I’m going to speak it with the hope that other people heal from it.” Common. Common says he’d blocked the memory out of his head for years, and it only resurfaced recently, in 2017. “I kind of wiped that out of my mind for a while. For a long time. I had a tendency to do that, to tuck things away in a corner. My journey back to it came with all the work I’ve been doing on myself, from prayer to meditation to therapy to art,” he says. “I didn’t even realize it happened unti I was doing a film called The Tale, which deals with that subject matter. I actually told my costar Laura Dern, ‘Yo, I think this happened to me.’ It just started coming back to me.” Laura Dern and Common. Filmmagic Laura Dern and Common Grab Dinner in Beverly Hills Prior to including it in the book, he had to break the news to the woman he’s closest to, his mother Dr. Mahalia Hines. Surprisingly, he says, the conversation “wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be. She’s worked in Chicago public schools as a principal and teacher, so the stories she’s heard. . . . Obviously it’s different when it’s your child. But she said, ‘I hate that these things happened, and I know people that it’s happened to before. Are you okay?’ She checked on me.” Common. Ilya S. Savenok/Getty The star and his mom have been close since childhood, as she was a single mom following her divorce from his father. As for how she processed the information, he says “I guess she’s looking at the end result. She’s like, ‘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.” For more on Common’s new book and journey to happiness, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.