Chrissy Metz, who stars as the struggling but indomitable Kate Pearson on NBC’s hit family drama “This Is Us,” was physically and emotionally abused by her stepfather growing up, she says in her new memoir.
“My mom married Trigger at the courthouse,” Metz, 37, raised in Gainesville, Florida, says in a People magazine excerpt from “This Is Me,” referring to her stepfather. Her mother, Denise, “was always at work,” the actress recalls, “so she didn’t see how he treated me.”
Metz says her overweight body “seemed to offend him, but he couldn’t help but stare, especially when I was eating. … We had lived with a lack of food for so long that when it was there, I felt like I had to eat it before it disappeared. Food was my only happiness.”
Metz says she doesn’t remember “why Trigger hit me the first time. He never punched my face. Just my body, the thing that offended him so much. He shoved me, slapped me, punched my arm. He would hit me if he thought I looked at him wrong. I remember being on the kitchen floor after he knocked me over, and I was begging to know what I did. He just shoved me hard with his foot.”
When she was 14, “Trigger began weighing me,” Metz writes. “He’d get the scale from the bathroom and clang it hard on the kitchen floor. … ‘Good God almighty!’ he yelled every single time. The number then was about 140 or 130. Most of my friends weighed about 90 pounds. ‘Why are you getting fatter?’ he demanded. I look at pictures of me from that time, and I would be so fine with being that size now. But I thought I was gigantic. By then the beating had escalated. One time he hit me, and I looked right in his face. If I had a gun, I thought, I would shoot you,” she writes.
The relationship was complex, however. “Afterward, I was so upset with myself. How could I think that about this person I loved so much? Because I really did love him. This man did more for me than my father ever did. … I needed to figure out why this person could do right by me as a provider, but be unable to love me.”
Trigger, she says, eventually regretted his actions. “We have a relationship now,” Metz writes. “I do love him and I do care about him.”