Tyler Perry is known for his comedy but his recent revelation of child abuse is no laughing matter. “I always thought I would die before I grew up,” the Hollywood powerhouse reveals in a letter to fans on his Web site. Perry said a flood of memories from his childhood returned after he watched a screening of the much acclaimed movie “Precious,” the story of a physically and emotionally abused 16-year-old girl. Perry is coproducing the Lee Daniels-directed film with Oprah Winfrey. Perry continues: “My father came home, mad at the world,” he writes. “He was drunk, as he was most of the time. He got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me until the skin was coming off my back.”

The film and television mogul recounts the time he was seduced by a friend’s mother and another incident in which he was molested by another friend’s father. Perry says seeing “Precious” helped him realize how much of a survivor he is. “It hit me so hard, I sat there in tears realizing that somehow, by the grace of God, I made it through,” writes Perry. “My tears were tears of joy, being thankful that I made it.”—ZH

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Check out Tyler Perry’s letter in its entirety here >>