Tyler Perry Says Obama Helped Him Stop Drinking
Tyler Perry recently confessed that, to deal with his mother’s sickness and death, he began drinking heavily to cope. But the actor/director said a visit from President Obama four months ago helped him kick his dependence on alcohol.
Perry told Essence magazine that when his mother first got sick in 2009, he started drinking every night because he couldn’t sleep. He said prior to that, he had never had a drinking problem, but was on his way to having one.
Perry went on to say,
“I’d have me a nice big glass of Hennessy and I would sleep through the night. It was President Obama’s visit to my studio, I don’t know what happened there, but when he came everything became clear. I just kind of came out of a haze. It was like, ‘Wake up, kid. You know life is still going on. I know you miss her, I know you care but wake up. Life is still going on.’ I swear the day after he left was the day I just said I am going to sleep without it.”
President Obama visited Tyler Perry Studios in March for a campaign fundraiser. Part of the studios, which sit on 60 acres of land, were damaged in a fire earlier this year.
Perry’s mother, Willie Maxine Perry, died December 8, 2009 at the age of 64 from an undisclosed illness. She taught preschool at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center most of her life. Tyler Perry has said that his mother was the inspiration for his popular Madea character.