LL Cool J is the latest celebrity to sit down with Oprah Winfrey for a dramatic, soul-searching Next Chapter interview. And the hip-hop legend decided to open up in the question-and-answer session about the horrific child abuse he endured at the hands of his mother’s friend. He may look like a big, tough guy, but all I want to do is give LL one huge hug today.
The details of what Oprah refer’s to as his “torture” are enough to break the hearts of anyone good and decent. As a child, LL was stripped and beaten on many occasions for offenses like opening the refrigerator or watching television. He talks about being thrown out in the snow and locked out of his home. Describing the worst abuse, the musician and actor had this to say:
“Just beat with vacuum cleaner pipes, just strip naked, ‘Put your hands on the bunk bed,’ and when you fall down, ‘Get back up, Stand up!’”
LL explains that the abuse was not sexual in nature, but that doesn’t make it any less traumatic. And it’s simply awful to think about young children having to live and grow in this type of environment. That type of evil and hatred just makes the whole world feel a bit more sinister and dangerous.
It’s incredibly brave for victims to step forward and open up about childhood abuse. LL Cool J has long presented himself as an epitome of strength. He has huge muscles that he’s never shied away from showing. He plays an action-hero-like investigator on television. And in talking about the abuse he suffered, he shows vulnerability. That cannot be easy for such a strong man to do.
I have no idea where LL Cool J is at this minute. And I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t appreciate a random stranger giving him a squeeze. Still, I wish I could give him a hug. Then I wish I could see the monster who committed that abuse throw away in jail where he or she can never hurt someone smaller or weaker than them again.