Tyler Perry Shares His Story Of Multiple Suicide Attempts: I Would Have Missed The Best Part Of My Life

Tyler Perry Shares His Story Of Multiple Suicide Attempts: I Would Have Missed The Best Part Of My Life


Tyler Perry, Sept. 10 2022, at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Hollywood celebrities and fans alike were shocked and saddened by the suicide death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss on Dec. 13. The former DJ for “The Ellen Show” was 40. Following the news of Boss’ sudden death, Hollywood powerhouse Tyler Perry revealed his own past suicide attempts in hopes of helping others.

The “Madea” star went to Instagram to discuss his own past suicide attempts during “dark” times in his life.

“It was all so hard to just move through that I thought the only way to make this better, make this pain go away, was taking my life,” he wrote. “Had any of those attempts happened, I would have missed the best part of my life.”

Perry added a message for those considering suicide, writing, “I know it may seem like there’s no hope, but please reach out to someone … call, ask for help if you are dealing with anything, anything that is emotionally taking you to a place where you think you want to end your life.”

The suicide rate in the U.S. is high. In 2020, the most recent data available, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for people ages 10 to 64, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 45,000 people died by suicide in 2020 and over 1 million adults attempted suicide, according to the CDC.

The suicide rate among males in 2020 was four times higher than the rate among females, ABC 7 Chicago reported.

Suicide rates have increased drastically among African Americans.

Rheeda Walker, professor of psychology and director of the University of Houston’s Culture, Risk and Resilience Lab, conducted research into the sharp increase in Black people’s deaths by suicide. Walker is the author of the book “The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health.” Walker is considered one of the leading researchers in the U.S. specializing in the intersection of culture, race, mental health, and suicide. 

“Anything that is perceived as mental health-related is taboo in the Black community. To further complicate things, ‘getting help’ is seen as a weakness so folks press on even when they are struggling. Doing so is part of a cultural legacy of survival in the face of brutal circumstances,” Walker told the University of Houston.  

“Over the last decade, suicide rates in the United States have increased dramatically among racial and ethnic minorities, and Black Americans in particular. Suicide deaths occur across the lifespan and have increased for Black youth, but the highest rate of death is among Black Americans aged 25-34 years of age,” said Walker, who believes one way to stem the trend is to continue bringing these conversations into the public arena.  

Data suggests that the age-adjusted suicide rate for Black Americans in 2020 was 7.7 per 100,000 people and 16.8 per 100,000 people for their white counterparts, according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Boss’s death, caused by a gunshot wound to the head, was ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.

Boss was found dead at the Oak Tree Inn in Encino, California. After he failed to check out, management went to check on him, Forbes reported.

The Los Angeles Times confirmed a report that Boss left a note, though details of the note were not revealed.

Perry said he was shocked by Boss’s death, saying he only met the beloved dancer a couple times, but he always seemed “full of life, seemed like such a light.”

Perry explained his own attempted suicide “a couple times.”

“It was so dark, I didn’t think it would get any better. I endured so much pain, so much abuse, sexual abuse,” Perry wrote on Instagram.

He added that he is glad his attempts were not successful. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Life is full of joy and love. Things I never thought I would get to,” he said.

“I am a living witness you can make it through it. I am so glad my attempts didn’t work. I’m still alive.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. Free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are not on your own.

Photo: Tyler Perry, writer/director of the film “A Jazzman’s Blues,” poses for a portrait during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 10 2022, at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)