Tyler Perry at age 6
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Though they're close friends, Oprah says she never realized how brutal Tyler's childhood really was. When she asks Tyler to describe the early years, his answer says it all. "[It was] a living hell," Tyler says.

As a picture of a young Tyler flashes across the screen, tears flood his eyes. "That's hard for me to look at," he says. "I feel like I died as a child."

To endure the violent beatings, shouting and name-calling, Tyler says he used his imagination to escape.

"I could go to this park [in my mind] that my mother and my aunt had taken me to. ... I'm there in this park running and playing, and it was such a good day," he says. "So, every time somebody was doing something to me that was horrible, that was awful, I could go to this park in my mind until it was over."

FROM: Tyler Perry Speaks Out About Being Molested and the Aftermath
Published on October 20, 2010

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