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.
"I was at the front door trying to get out, when she came in and laid on the sofa and asked me if I wanted the key. I told her I had to go home as it was getting dark.
"She put the key inside of herself and told me to come get it, pulling me on top of her," Perry writes on his site.
Perry said he was sickly as a child, and that made his father angry. His grandmother contended the family was wasting money on allergy shots. She said Perry had germs on him. One day when Perry's mother was away, he said, his grandmother decided "to kill those germs on me once and for all. She gave me a bath in ammonia."
The Buzz has often questioned Tyler Perry as an artist, but as a person, his story is nothing short of inspirational. Wow.