Chrissy Metz didn’t have a father like Jack Pearson growing up. The This Is Us star opened up about her abusive stepfather and how she came to forgive him on the Today show Tuesday, March 27.
Hoda Kotb asked Metz, 37, about her stepfather, Trigger, who she writes about in her new memoir, This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today. “It’s interesting because so much of the press has been about the negative relationship that he and I have, and I want to be very clear that there was a lot of negativity and sort of a tumultuous experience that I do write about in the book,” she explained. “It was very, very difficult. But since, I have forgiven him, he’s apologized and we’re very close. And I love him dearly, and he was there for me when my father wasn’t. But it was hard when it was hard.”
Metz outlines the abuse she suffered in This Is Me. “It was as if he hated to have to even look at me,” she writes, according to USA Today. “My body seemed to offend him, but he couldn’t help but stare, especially when I was eating.”
She continues, “He never punched my face. Just my body, the thing that offended him so much. He shoved me, slapped me, punched my arm, and yanked my wrist. He would hit me if he thought I looked at him wrong.”
The actress didn’t understand her stepfather’s reasoning for hitting her as a child. “I didn’t know what I did wrong or what I could do better. It was very confusing,” Metz told Kotb. “And now, of course, as an adult, going through this evolution of, I guess, spirituality and forgiveness and everything, I get it. It had nothing to do with me and that people hurt people.”
The American Horror Story alum said that she dealt with the physical abuse because she didn’t want to be a “burden” to her mother. Trigger had given them a place to live after Metz’s father left them, and her mother was in love with him. He later wrote a letter to his stepdaughter applauding her courage after she moved to Los Angeles.
Trigger has denied the allegations, telling Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, March 21, “None of it’s true. I love her very much just like I always have and I treat her just like she’s one of mine. I want the best for her.”
This Is Me is out now.
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