Tyler Perry: The billionaire who gave Harry and Meghan a home and his security in US

Writer-director-actor Tyler Perry attends the premiere of Tyler Perry's "A Fall from Grace" at Metrograph on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New York.
Billionaire film producer Tyler Perry rose to fame as an actor, writer and producer. Credit: AP

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had their taxpayer-funded security withdrawn, it was a billionaire film producer that stepped in to help, Meghan revealed during her interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Tyler Perry, a 51-year-old Hollywood mogul, opened up his £13 million Los Angeles home to the couple while they looked for somewhere to live.

Their baby son Archie celebrated his first birthday at the mansion abode.

Meghan told Oprah: “We didn’t have a plan. We needed a house and he (Perry) offered his security as well so it gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we were going to do.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex just before stepping down as senior royals. Credit: AP

Prince Harry and Meghan were living in Canada at the time where they had fled just before announcing they would be stepping down as working senior royals.

When their royal status changed at the end of March 2020, Canada stopped paying for their security.

Archie, Meghan and Prince Harry's baby son, celebrated his first birthday at Perry's house Credit: The Duchess of Sussex instagram

When the state funded security was withdrawn Prince Harry fought against the decision. He told Winfrey he received confirmation the risk had not changed but it was stopped anyway.

In the interview Prince Harry said: “The biggest concern was while we were in Canada, in someone else’s house, I then got told, short notice, that security was going to be removed. By this point, courtesy of the Daily Mail, the world knew our exact location.

“So suddenly it dawned on me, ‘hang on a second, the borders could be closed, we’re going to have our security removed, who knows how long lockdown is going to be, the world knows where we are, it’s not safe, it’s not secure, we probably need to get out of here’.”

Tyler Perry with former mentor Oprah Winfrey Credit: AP

They moved into the eight bedroom, 12 bathroom villa in the secluded exclusive gated community, Beverly Ridge Estates where they had plenty of celebrity neighbours that month.

There had been speculation that the Prince of Wales footed the bill for their security when it was removed in Canada. Another report says they now pay for their own security.

Tyler Perry came to Hollywood from New Orleans as a struggling actor but also wrote stage plays, scripts for the small and big screens. He created shows for Oprah Winfrey's television network who then became his mentor.

Tyler Perry became a household name playing the character Madea in films he also produced. Credit: AP

He's perhaps best known for playing an elderly woman, Madea, in a series of films he also produced. He went on to star in Star Trek, Gone Girl and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

It's believed Perry flew Harry and Meghan from Canada to California on a private plane. It's unclear how they all met but they are all mutual friends with Oprah Winfrey.

It's also possible that Perry and Meghan's paths crossed when she was an actor in Hollywood before meeting Harry.

Oprah With Meghan and Harry will be broadcast in the UK on ITV on Monday 8 March at 9pm. It will also be available on ITV Hub.

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