Tyler Perry Reveals History of Abuse

The filmmaker and co-poducer of 'Precious' reveals physical and emotional abuse from his childhood...

2009 Turner UpFront

It took a prescreening of ‘Precious’, a film about an abused girl living in Harlem, that prompted Tyler Perry to reveal publicly and in great detail the horrible abuses he suffered growing up. From CNN:

Perry recounts in a message posted on his Web site and in an e-mail to fans that a prescreening of the film “Precious,” due out later this year, dislodged “some raw emotions and brought me to some things and places in my life that I needed to deal with but had long forgotten. It brought back memories so strong that I can smell and taste them.”

Perry is an executive producer of the movie, which tells the tale of Claireece “Precious” Jones, an illiterate, obese 16-year-old girl from Harlem who is emotionally and physically abused.

The 40-year-old producer says he can identify with the character, and he recalls a number of incidents from his childhood.

Emmitt Perry Sr., a construction worker, uttered profane insults at him and relentlessly beat and belittled him, Perry says. The random, violent beatings were commonplace until Perry was 19, he said.

“You … jackass! You got book sense but you ain’t got no … common sense,” he quotes his father as saying.

“I heard this every day of my childhood,” says Perry.

Perry says that while at a playmate’s house when he was about 10 years old, his friend’s scantily clad mother locked the friend in the bathroom and told Perry to leave.