The longtime radio executive said nobody goes from homeless or sleeping in hotels to Hollywood’s highest paid man overnight. In his new book, Never Would Have Made It: The Rise of Tyler Perry, the Most Powerful Entertainer in Black America (And What It Really Took to Get Him There) he claims he used drug funds to launch Perry’s career — eight sold-out shows at Atlanta’s House of Blues in 1998.
“As far as the drug money is concerned, I mean everybody in the show knew what was happening,” said Childs in an interview with theGrio’s Todd Johnson. “It wasn’t a secret then. It’s not just me.”
Childs book, which details his relationship with Perry and all of the behind the scenes business deals he helped execute on Perry’s behalf, is more tempered than salacious.
“I have no ill will towards Tyler at all,” Childs insists. “I don’t necessarily know that I would call him a ‘friend’ at this point. Sometimes, success and money seems to change people and that’s kinda what this book is about.”
The Oklahoma City native says he first met Perry at a church in Montgomery, Alabama – and says the 6-foot-7 playwright was charming.
“Tyler’s a good man, I don’t even think people really understand how talented Tyler is,” Childs said.
But Childs is clear — talented people need money and connections.
“I see so many of these young playwrights…and most of them honestly believe that you can just wake up one day and do shows in the House of Blues,” Childs said. “And it’s just not true. It just doesn’t happen that way…and if you don’t have any connections and money and all those things, it’s going to be impossible.”
Childs, who still lives and works in Oklahoma City in promotions, says his account of Perry’s rise to fame is accurate. He said if there was anything in the book that wasn’t true, Perry’s people would have already seen to it that he get shut down.
In addition to promoting some of Perry’s first plays, Childs says he left his wife and kids for an extended period of time to ensure they’d be successful. He said he paid for Perry’s hotels when he had nowhere to stay, fronted him thousands of dollars when Perry had no money to pay his cast – and a long list of other expenses he says Perry never appreciated.
Childs admits he wasn’t the savviest of businessman and that his inexperience led to him being shut out of Perry’s empire.
“I have no one to blame but myself,” Childs said. “I trusted people that I shouldn’t have and was shut out.”
Asked why Perry didn’t stick up for him when it was clear he was being left behind, Childs shrugs but maintains he has no ill will towards him.
“I don’t think Tyler ever really cared,” Childs said. “[But] for me to sit up here and be bitter, that doesn’t do anything for my legacy…Tyler doesn’t owe me anything. And that’s it.”
Via The Grio