Tyler Perry has always attributed his success to his faith. As he continues to spread positive vibes across the world, the entertainment mogul reflected on how he healed from past traumas like sexual and physical abuse.
Featured as People’s latest cover star, Perry spoke about the love from his mother and the abuse they both endured from his father Emmitt Perry. “I don’t think I ever felt safe or protected as a child,” Perry said. “That was extremely difficult because I knew my mother wanted me to feel safe.” His father, who suffered from alcoholism, took his frustrations out on a young Tyler. The pain didn’t stop there as Perry previously shared how he was subjected to sexual abuse from three men and one woman in his family.
“It was rape,” he said “I didn’t know what was going on or the far-reaching effects of it. I just moved through it. You go on to the next thing, I was told ‘Boys don’t cry.’ Unfortunately, what happens with men in my case. You hold on to the [pain] and don’t know what to do with it.”
As Perry grew up, he took solace in writing and getting lost in his imagination. This led him to characters like Madea and the iconic plays and films that would shake the entertainment industry. “I didn’t notice at the time but that’s where my gift to write came from,” he said. “From the hell, from the heartache and the pain. In my mind, no matter what was happening to me. In my mind, I can go be somewhere else.”
He has since forgiven his father and at 41 learned that Emmitt wasn’t his biological father. Nonetheless, he still supports his father financially and acknowledges prayer for allowing him to rise above the trauma.
“[It took] a tremendous amount of prayer,” Perry said. “But the biggest thing that helped me understand it is that me holding on to what I was holding on to wasn’t hurting him…but it was killing me. I’m telling you, the shift and forgiveness in me left me raw because it was a weight inside,” he added. “Once I let it go, I literally felt lighter inside.”
Things have been looking up for Perry. This week he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Kerry Washington and Idris Elba offering thanks for his work.
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Ok, let me explain this photo. So I got a star today on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Thank you chamber!! I’m so grateful, but onto this photo. @only1crystalfox spoke and moved me. @kerrywashington spoke, and we both were in tears. Then @idriselba came up to speak, and they all were so powerful. I was so moved. To look out and see all the cast from all the shows that I have created made my heart so full. To be able to give opportunities to so many was just so humbling to me. Anyway, the photogs were asking for photos so at that moment the BEAUTIFUL KERRY WASHINGTON was leaving, and they all started snapping pictures of her!! Look at my face. We had such a good laugh about this. Thank you everyone for your support and love all these years. My Mamma would be so proud.
See the rest of the interview here.