Actor Tyler Lepley is having a breakout year, with his role on Starz’ successful drama P-Valley. The show, created by Black playright Katori Hall, features a cast of employees at a Southern strip club and their struggles to keep their place of business open in a changing world. The show features a few breakout stars but Lepley has become the one that everyone is watching.
Lepley got his start on Tyler Perry’s The Have and the Have Nots, which was one of the first scripted series on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. The success of that show made Lepley a fan favorite, but it’s been his latest roles that have the star poised for a breakout.
With any rise of fame comes the rumors so that so many men have had to dodge in this industry. After getting his start under Perry, whose gun-toting Black woman in drag character Madea has always kept tongues wagging about his own sexuality, Lepley apparently started to be dogged by the rumor that he was gay.
Appearing on a show like P-Valley more than likely helped add fuel to that fire. The show features a number of LGBTQIA themes and a prominent main character that is queer and owns the strip club that Lepley’s character Diamond works at as a bouncer.
“I came out on a Tyler Perry show, and for whatever reason he gets a rap like that,” said Lepley to hosts of the Lip Service podcast recently. The breakout talent sat with Angela Yee and her three other women co-hosts and they brought up the rumors that Lepley was allegedly gay. Lepley claimed to have never seen the rumors, however and also defended Perry from them.
Despite the rumors of Perry’s sexuality, he himself just posted recently that he was single, having a mid-life crisis and looking forward to being a father and more.
“This is what a midlife crisis looks like,” said Perry in a post that recently went viral. “I’m 51, single and wondering what the next chapter in my life will look like.”
It looks like money and muscles, as Perry made sure to include a full body shot. The billionaire apparently broke up with longtime girlfriend, and mother of his child, Gelila Bekele. The “thirst trap” from Perry was just another in a long line of selfies that the newly seeking love bachelor has posted on his Instagram lately.
“I know Tyler personally. He’s not gay,” said Lepley, before saying that he was “seen around him” and that it [the gay rumors] “rubbed off” on Lepley.
As mentioned previously above, Lepley also cops to the fact that being on the set of a show like P-Valleydoesn’t help the rumors either. Even innocent cast selfies and photos from set can also paint the actor in a light that he’s not when he’s not in character.
“I think I was taking a picture with Alphonse [J. Alphonse Nicholson], who plays Lil Murda and people started up with the gay thing again,” Lepley told the ladies. Ultimately, Lepley knows the game and how people are and isn’t letting anything bother him.
“If you have a space people can’t figure out, then they can just create a judgment.”
See the clip below.