Tyler Perry discusses surviving “rape” as a child, and overcoming suicidal thoughts

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — Tyler Perry is sharing details on his tumultuous childhood that included surviving sexual abuse from those close to his family, violent beatings from his father, and suicidal thoughts.

“I don’t think I ever felt safe or protected as a child,” Perry told People, adding that his alcoholic father had at one time beat him so bad with a vacuum cord that it ripped the skin off his back.

Perry, 50, later learned at 41 that the man he once called his father was not his biological parent.

In addition to the violence at home, Perry said that he also endured sexual abuse from four family associates. 

“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.”

It was those experiences plus his frustrations and bottled up emotions that Perry said let to his deep depression and thoughts of suicide.

“If any of it had worked, my attempts to kill myself… I wouldn’t have gotten to the other side of all the horror,” he said. 

Now looking back, Perry says the first step to become free from those burdens is forgiveness.

“I’m telling you, the shift and forgiveness in me left me raw because it was a weight inside,” he said. “Once I let it go, I literally felt lighter inside.”

The new edition of People featuring Tyler Perry on the cover hits newsstands on Friday.

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