In South Carolina, a 93-year-old Hilton Head Island resident, Josephine Wright, has found herself entangled in a legal dispute with developers over her family’s ancestral home, on property the family reportedly has owned since the 19th century. However, Tyler Perry announced last fall he is stepping in to help.
The legal battle began when Bailey Point Investment Group initiated a lawsuit against Josephine Wright in February. The company alleged that her property infringed upon their land, posed a disturbance, and hindered their development endeavors.
While the legal battle is still going on, Wright was displaced in September when a tree fell on and collapsed her roof. She has been living with her granddaughters until the damage is fixed.
But she might not need to wait for the repair, as Perry vowed in October to buy her a new home for the new year.
Wright, who has 16 children, 40 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren, and 16 great-great-grandchildren, owns a private property on Hilton Head Island, which includes a screened-in porch, a shed, and a satellite dish. Bailey Point Investment Group is suing her, alleging that her property encroaches on their land, causing a nuisance, lowering property values, and impeding their development plans, USA Today reported.
In February 2023, Bailey Point Investment initiated a lawsuit against Wright, owning land on all sides of her 1.8-acre property, acquired in 2014. They developed a 147-home subdivision in the same area. A few years ago, the company attempted to purchase Wright’s property, offering a mere $39,000.
Bill True pointed out that a 1.8-acre property on Hilton Head Island, potentially housing a residential condominium, is worth between $500,000 and $2 million. This suggests that the investment company was unfairly undervaluing the elderly Black woman’s land.
In response, Wright filed a counter lawsuit against the company and sought the assistance of a civil rights attorney. Extensive media coverage brought the case to Perry’s attention in June, with USA Today reporting on it on Oct. 18.
“‘I’ve pretty much been a fighter my whole life,’” Perry quoting Wright on June 28 via a caption on his Instagram video. “Well, that makes two of us. Ms. Wright, please tell where to show up and what you need to help you fight.”
Having lived on the property for 30 years and facing various challenges, including her husband’s passing in 1998 and roof damage caused by a falling tree in September, Perry was determined to provide Wright with a new five-bedroom home to replace her current one.
Granddaughter Charise Graves launched a GoFundMe page to support Wright’s well-being, catching the attention of major Black celebrities such as Fantasia, Meek Mill, Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks, and Snoop Dogg, as reported by Essence. Irving made two donations, citing the tree incident, and the campaign has raised more than $366,000.
“Tyler Perry’s friendship has made a significant difference in Grandma’s life, and we are truly thankful for his kindness and generosity,” Graves wrote on social media.