Most children who come from humble beginnings and grow up to be successful want to repay their parents for their sacrifices. But nobody would blame Tyler Perry if he turned his back on the horrifically abusive man whom he thought was his father. Perry found enough forgiveness in his heart to make peace with his bleak childhood and now takes care of his father's every need.
Perry shared his story again on Oprah's Master Class. He talked about growing up with the innate knowledge that Emmitt Perry Sr. was not his biological father.
"From a child, I had always known that this man despised me," he said. "I could not figure it out for the longest [time]. I could not figure out why he hated me so. Every action was about his hatred or his disdain for me."
From the time Perry was a little boy until his mother reached her death bed, she always maintained that Emmitt Sr. was his father. Eventually, Perry had a DNA test done with his brother and a paternity test done with Emmitt Sr. which proved that another man was indeed Perry's father.
Emmitt Sr. brutalized him. Perry believes that within the circumstances surrounding his conception and birth lies the truth about his real father. To this day, that is a very painful family secret that no one who knows will reveal. In spite of the secrecy, Perry vowed to provide for Emmitt Sr. just as he had provided for him and his family.
"As terrible as he was, and as horrible as he was, he never once left us," Perry said. "We were never hungry. And every time he'd go to work, all week, he'd bring all the money home."
Perry believes that while Emmitt Sr. refuses to apologize or confess any guilt, he credits the man he once thought was his father for his intense work ethic. Whatever their differences, Perry has sworn to take care of his physical needs. Whether or not Emmitt Sr. makes amends remains to be seen, but it won't stop Perry from continuing to thrive.