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Tyler Perry Explains Why He Takes Care of Abusive Father

Would you take care of someone who had abused you as a child? It’s a hard question to answer and, really, it probably depends on a lot of variables but Tyler Perry recently revealed that he provides support for the man who raised him, despite a pretty dark history.

While opening up on Oprah’s Master Class, Perry talked about his current relationship with Emmitt Perry Sr., the man who he thought was his father growing up. The older man was physically and emotionally abusive and the Hollywood heavyweight explained, “from a child, I’d always known that this man despised me, and I could not figure it out for the longest … I could not figure out why he hated me so. And every action was about his hatred or his disdain for me.”

It turns out that there might have been a deep-seated, dark reason for Emmitt’s horrible attitude towards Perry. After his mother passed away, the actor and producer took a DNA test which showed that he and his brother did not have the same father and that Emmitt was not, in fact, a blood relative. Perry had to accept the fact that his mother had lied about his paternity.

Still, the abuse seems to have been very severe. Perry explains that he was degraded emotionally every day and that the beatings were relentless.  One night, he alleged that Emmitt “got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me until the skin was coming off my back.” That’s… devastating. That, along with many other horrible tragedies in Perry’s young life, is a horrible thing for a child to experience.

Today, despite the fact that they are not father and son and in spite of all of the years of abuse, Perry takes care of the aging man. When asked why, he explained, “number one, my mother asked me to because she loved him. And secondly, as terrible as he was, and as horrible as he was, he never once left us. We were never hungry. And every time he’d go to work all week, he’d bring the money home. In return, I’m giving him what he gave to me. I had shelter. I had food. He has shelter — pretty nice shelter — and any food that he wants to eat… What I missed from him — being in a relationship — is also what he’s missing from me now. So he doesn’t have everything. He has what’s easy.”

Tyler Perry Explains Why He Takes Care of Abusive Father

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2017). Tyler Perry Explains Why He Takes Care of Abusive Father. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Aug 2017
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