Tyler Perry's Nephew Dead From Suicide by Hanging in Prison, Report Says
Tyler Perry's nephew, Gavin Porter, is reportedly dead at 26 after he apparently hanged himself inside his prison cell in Louisiana, TMZ reports. Sources with knowledge of the situation told the outlet that Porter was found dead in his cell Tuesday night at a prison facility near St. Helena Parish, and that prison officials told Porter's mother (who is Perry's sister) that he hanged himself with a bedsheet while in solitary confinement.
Porter had gotten into a fight with another inmate over the weekend, sources told TMZ, and was placed in solitary confinement. Guards reportedly checked on him around 6 p.m. Tuesday and found nothing out of the ordinary. Around 8 p.m., guards returned and found Porter's body.
The family has reportedly been notified that there was no foul play in the death, but sources said the family doesn't necessarily believe that.
TMZ reports that Porter was arrested for shooting and killing his biological father in 2015 after an argument with him. He pleaded no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Though Perry, 50, is typically private when it comes to his family, the filmmaker did open up last year about a moment with his son Aman that brought him to tears. After gushing over 5-year-old Aman, who he shares with girlfriend Gelila Bekele, as his "greatest joy," Perry brought up a moment where he had to discipline his son.
Perry, who endured physical and sexual abuse as a child, said the moment was "one of the most difficult things I've had to do in his short four years of life." (Aman was 4 at the time of the interview.)
"I was in the other room writing and he had just given the nanny fits," Perry told PEOPLE. "He didn't know I was there listening to him. He's just going at her ... I get down to this level, eye to eye. We're talking, we're having a conversation. I'm saying how disappointed I was, how he shouldn't behave that way.
"And I watched this child, who's very smart, get it and apologize — apologize to the nanny, apologize to Mom, apologize to me. I watched this child get it and I had to rush out of the room because I lost it," he continued. "Gelila comes and she's [like], 'Are you OK?' I'm in tears because nobody had ever spoken to me that way as a child. Nobody had ever spoken to me as a person."
He called the experience "such a powerful moment for both of us."
"When I think about my father, I'm trying to look at it now through the lens of this beautiful person that I'm raising, but it makes it harder because I wonder how could you be so cruel to something so pure, right?" he continued. "And [Aman] looks just like me, so I'm looking at myself in younger pictures."
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