AceShowbiz - Tyler Perry reveals he is the godfather to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's daughter. Despite growing close to Prince Harry and his wife Meghan when he offered them somewhere to stay when they first moved to the US after stepping back from royal duties in 2020, the 53-year-old actor-and-director was still stunned when they called him for a "pretty serious" chat on the phone and asked him to take responsibility for the spiritual welfare of their little girl Lilibet, who was born in June 2021.
"I go, 'Okay, what's going on?' They said, 'Well, we'd like for you to be Lili's godfather.' I go, 'Whoa.' I had to take a minute to take that in. And I thought, 'I'd be honoured. I'd absolutely be honoured,' " he recalled in the final episode of the couple's docuseries "Harry and Meghan".
But after ending the call, the "Madea" star reflected on what it could mean and got back in touch with the couple to add a condition to his excitement.
He said, "I called them back and go, 'Uh, hold on a second - does this mean we gotta go over [to the U.K.] and do all of that in church with [the royal family] and figure all that out? 'Cause I don't wanna do that. Maybe we can do a little private ceremony here [in the U.S.] and let that be that, and if you have to do it there, then that's OK.' "
Earlier in the episode, the "Madea" star explained he "immediately empathised" with the former "Suits" actress over the "hurtful" controversy she found herself in because of her strained relationship with her dad, Thomas Markle, and wrote her a letter before she married Harry in 2018.
He said, "I couldn't even imagine this woman finding the man that she loved, the man of her dreams, and him being a prince, and then to walk into all of that madness and need the security of family and then have your father do some horrible things. When my life changed and success started to come, family members became different people, and I know how hurtful and horrible it can be."
Later, when Meghan and Harry - who also have three-year-old son Archie together - were considering leaving the royal family, the 41-year-old duchess spoke to Tyler on the phone for the first time and cried over how she felt she was being treated.
Tyler reflected, "To tell Meghan that I felt her feelings were valid, [that] hurt. I didn't want to have to say that to her - I didn't want her to feel that. But I didn't want to lie to her. She was afraid of them destroying her, or going crazy, or them making her think she was crazy."
And the "Jazzman's Blues" filmmaker believes the couple were "abused" by the royal institution. He said, "This woman was abused. And so was he. To use the institution to try and do all the things that a batterer would do - like, 'Here's what we're gonna do, We're gonna cut off the money, we're gonna not leave you security, we're gonna do all those things to make you comply and come back.' "
"And for the both of them to have the wherewithal to say, 'I don't give a damn if it's the palace. I'm out of here.' I applauded that."