Charlamagne Tha God, born Lenard Larry McKelvey, grew up at time when men, especially Black men seeking help about sexual trauma was taboo.
However, watching entertainment mogul Tyler Perry talk about his experience on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2010 helped “Tha God’s Honest Truth” host come to the realization that his experiences as a child were not normal or acceptable.
“When I first watched that interview, I wasn’t nowhere near doing any kind of work on myself,” explained the Breakfast Club host, 43, recalled on “Daily Blast Live” Monday. “I watched him crying and I remember saying to myself, ‘Well, you know, what’s wrong with him?’
“Because I think the way that men process sexual assault is different.”
From his perspective, at the time, it didn’t seem like sexual assault, “I was 8, you know, getting it popping with an older woman.”
“I literally remember me and my guys at that age having conversations about being with older women back then, and none of us processed it as sexual assault,” he said.
In 2010, Perry told Winfrey, 67, about how he was molested starting at the age of 5 by several males throughout his life.
Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. According RAINN.org, young boys are at a higher of sexual assault with 1 in 6 experiencing some form of sexual trauma before the age of 13.
The director also shared how the mom of one of his friends once seduced him when he was only 10 years old, and she was his first sexual experience.
Charlamagne Tha God’s experience was eerily similar, having been molested by his cousin’s ex-wife at 8 years old.
Decades later, the radio host, has openly shared his therapy journey with fans, an important part of his healing process.
Even though The Black Privilege author has had his own bouts with sexual trauma, in 2001 he was accused of sexual assault by a young woman, Jessica Reid, who was 15 when she attended a party hosted by Charlamagne, 22, with a friend.
Reid and the friend allegedly were given “a liquid to drink that tasted like soda,” which is the last thing Reid’s friend remembered before waking up to a man trying to kiss her.
Though he pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor for providing alcohol at the party, the television personality maintains that he never had any sort of “physical contact with the alleged victim whatsoever.”
“Over seventeen years ago, I pled guilty to ‘Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor’ and served 3 years of probation after irresponsibly hosting a party where alcohol was served to minors,” he previously told Billboard in a statement.
“I will forever regret my role in creating an environment that was less than safe. I cooperated with authorities, participated in multiple interviews, and submitted to DNA testing.
“Ultimately the assault charge was dismissed because I had no physical contact with the alleged victim whatsoever.”
Contact the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for more help.