Filmmaker Tyler Perry has blasted allegations he failed to pay for work on two construction projects, insisting he is the victim of extortion attempts because of his celebrity. Six construction firms allege they have yet to be paid for work completed on Perry's new movie studios and home overlooking the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, Georgia.
The contractors claim the Meet The Browns director refused to pay their final bills either for no apparent reason or because he didn't approve of their efforts.
The companies have filed liens against the properties, with court documents indicating the unpaid bills from the two properties amount to nearly $200,000 (£145,000).
But Perry is adamant he only withheld payment because the work was substandard or the charges were undocumented, reports U.S. newspaper Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He says, "I'm not sympathetic to anybody whos trying to rip me off. Just because I'm a Christian, just because I'm a nice guy, it doesnt mean Im a wimp.
"Theres a Tyler Perry tax thats put on things. Ive seen the worst of what people can be, the worst of what family members can be. I pride myself on taking care of my business. I pride myself on being able to pay the bills."