Tyler Perry's Latest Woes

PHOTO: Director Tyler Perry speaks onstage at Cipriani, Wall Street in New York City and inset of facade of Tyler Perry Studios in southwest Atlanta, May 1, 2012.
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Tyler Perry is no stranger to trouble.

After overcoming a traumatic childhood and months of homelessness as a struggling artist, the 42-year-old movie mogul faces new problems -- racial profiling and, most recently, a four-alarm fire at his Atlanta movie studio.

"Atlanta firefighters responded immediately to a fire that damaged the backlot facade of one of the buildings at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta," Perry's spokeswoman said in a statement to ABCNews.com. "We are grateful that there were no injuries, and that 99 percent of the damage is limited to the backlot facade. Mr. Perry wishes to express his heartfelt thanks to the Atlanta fire department for its professionalism in their quick response and limiting the damage."

Officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze, which brought more than 100 firefighters and took an hour to extinguish, Atlanta Fire Department spokesman J.L. Bundrige told ABCNews.com. Bundrige said it's too early to know whether the fire was considered suspicious or accidental.

Firefighters were first called to the scene at 8:41 p.m. Tuesday and successfully contained the blaze to one building in the center of the studio backlot. "The bulk of the fire was on the exterior of the building," Bundrige said, "but due to the concrete masonry construction behind the exterior fascia, fire did not penetrate the exterior wall. The interior only suffered some water damage."

The fascia of the affected building collapsed, but its structural integrity was intact, Bundrige said. No injuries were reported.

Perry named his backlot 34th Street, as in the movie "Miracle on 34th Street." He has called his 200,000-square-foot studio, situated on 30 acres, opened in 2008 and home to five sound stages and a 400-seat theater, a "miracle."

"This place was such a miracle and a blessing to me, I had to have a chapel," Perry says in a videotaped tour of his studio posted on his website.

Like the legendary Madea, the loud-talking, gun-toting grandmother Perry played in his successful stage shows and films, including "Diary of Mad Black Woman" and "Madea's Family Reunion," Perry often invokes God and his faith for helping him through his greatest challenges.

"I always thought I would die before I grew up," he wrote in a 2009 uncharacteristically somber letter to fans on his website.

After watching a screening of the movie "Precious," which he executive produced with Oprah Winfrey, about a 16-year-old girl who is physically and emotionally abused, the New Orleans native revealed that it was like "a large part of my childhood had just played out before my eyes."

In the letter, Perry recounted a horrific list of beatings and hardships, including the time his father whipped him with the vacuum cleaner extension cord "until the skin was coming off my back."

He also revealed that he was sexually molested by a number of adults, both male and female.

Later, in a 2010 interview with Winfrey, he recalled trying to commit suicide as an 11-year-old child and later as a 22-year-old adult trying to launch his first stage play, "I Know I've Been Changed," based on his traumatic childhood.

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