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In his new memoir, 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), Melvin Childs, a self-described former radio executive, claims Perry’s growth was significantly dependent on his early investment in him.

Childs also makes the shocking charge that Perry used “risky deals with drug dealers, couriers carrying large bags of cash across the country; backstabbing and double-dealing with corrupt promoters,” plus other illicit means to fund his early work according to the book’s press release.

Childs, who says he has an eye for writing talent, alleges that he helped discover a then unknown Perry. Childs invested in Perry by putting up the money for his production of I Know I’ve Been Changed at Atlanta’s House of Blues — a turning point in the star’s career. Those sold-out shows led to Tyler Perry’s first successful national tour, which were allegedly also made possible through Childs’ money and connections. Childs says he supported the then-struggling star by providing for Perry’s basic living expenses at that time.

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