Writer/actor Tyler Perry has reached out to American football hero LAVERANUES COLES after learning that, like him, he's a victim of child abuse.
THE DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN star felt compelled to contact the sports star after Coles appeared on Oprah Winfrey's daily talk show last year (05) and talked about his abuse openly for the first time.
Perry admits his heart went out to the New York Jets star when he realised he was 28 - the same age the actor was when he went public with his own molestation story.
He says, "Anybody watching... could see how much pain he was in and I had endured a lot myself from the ages of five to 11 - I was molested by a woman and a man in the neighbourhood.
"He was 28 at the time that he was doing this and, for me, it was 28 when I started to really deal with it... I connected to his pain, absolutely, so I wanted to talk to him.
Coles admits opening up about his child abuse hell was a major point in his life, but Perry's follow-up call put him on the path to recovery.
The footballer explains, "The two life-transforming events that I've had in the past couple of years have been me acknowledging that I was molested as a child... and a phone call from Mr Tyler Perry.
"He explained to me that he had been abused himself as a child, he understood where I was coming from."