Chrissy Metz’s stepfather used to beat and humiliate her

People Cover

Chrissy Metz’s character on This is Us has certainly been through a lot, including childhood fat-shaming from young bullies, the loss of her father and her miscarriage. Unfortunately, Chrissy’s real-life story is peppered with equally tragic events – many at the hands of a father figure who was the polar opposite of her TV father.

The 37-year-old actress is sharing her story in her new memoir, entitled This is Me, which hits bookshelves on Tuesday. In the book, Chrissy recounts growing up poor with a physically and emotionally abusive stepfather. In this week’s cover story for PEOPLE she says “I’m a tough cookie,” but admits that having to deal with the abuse was “one of those things that attempts to break your spirit.”

Chrissy’s father left when she was eight. Her mother, Denise, later married a man she called Trigger. In the book, the actress noted that her stepfather loved the biological children he had with Denise, but didn’t feel the same way about her. She felt her weight contributed to their strained relationship. She wrote,

”My body seemed to offend him, but he couldn’t help but stare, especially when I was eating. He joked about putting a lock on the refrigerator. 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.”

“And so, I began to hide my eating. I’d get up in the middle of the night and eat. I’d sneak food to eat in the bathroom. Cookies, chips. Things I could eat as fast as possible to avoid detection,” she writes. “Things that would give me the brief bliss of numbness.”

The relationship turned violent when Chrissy was in her teens, when Trigger began striking her. She recalled, “He never punched my face. Just my body, the thing that offended him so much.” Trigger also forced her to undergo periodic weigh-ins, which Chrissy recounts in the book.

“He sat in a chair next to the scale as I got on. ‘Good God almighty!’ he yelled every single time. The number then was about 140 or 130. Most of my friends weighed about ninety 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.”

Despite his reprehensible behavior, Trigger later apologized and Chrissy asserted that, “We have a relationship now,” adding, “I do love him and I do care about him.” She also believes that the hardship and pain she suffered in her past has made her a stronger person, and, in a sentiment that almost sounds like it was ripped from the pages of a This is Us script, acknowledged, “We all go through stuff. But I truly believe that everything that happened to me, happened for me. [I’ve learned] some beautiful lessons.”

Wow, who knew? I’m glad that Chrissy was able to share her story and I hope its positive message resonates with someone who may have gone through similar experiences. I have gained a whole new level of respect for Chrissy and hope she stays strong.

102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2017, Arrivals, Los Angeles

19th Annual Post-Golden Globes Party hosted by Warner Bros. Pictures and InStyle at The Beverly Hilton Hotel


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

39 Responses to “Chrissy Metz’s stepfather used to beat and humiliate her”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Alissa says:

    it’s really unfortunate that that’s how her step-father treated her weight gain, when if he had instead perhaps gone for therapy and been active with her and they had all eaten well together she might not have the weight issues that she does. I’m amazed that she can have a relationship with him and say that she loves him after the way he treated her. That says a lot about her, and I mean that in a positive way. also, where was her mother during all of this?

    • WTW says:

      She seems like a sweet person, but when you say “that says a lot about her,” I think it needs to be taken into consideration that abuse victims are expected to forgive–no matter what. You are told you’re supposed to love parents and parental figures no matter the extent of their abuse. I think this is profoundly unhealthy. I have no issues whatsoever with Chrissy, but let’s not forget the pressure women especially face to forgive the unthinkable. This man should have been arrested, but she seems to feel that because her bio dad wasn’t around, her stepdad deserves her loyalty, even though he was an abusive a-hole. And where was her mother in all of this? I, for one, am sick of people who’ve been victimized feeling like they have to stay in contact with horrible human beings. Forgiveness doesn’t mean letting abusers continue to have access to you.

      • supersoft says:


      • Alissa says:

        I agree that I wouldn’t have him in my life, but I also think it should be up to the victim whether they forgive or not. they shouldn’t have to keep someone out of their life if they don’t want to, and they shouldn’t have to have someone in their life if they don’t want to. I know victims who felt that they couldn’t really move on if they held onto their anger and kept that person out of their lives. I don’t really agree with it or understand it, but I’ve also never been in their position.

    • Sabrine says:

      I wouldn’t have the step-father in my life. I suspect once she started making good money, he became repentant and apologetic. You can forgive but why have your childhood abuser in your life? He doesn’t deserve her, nor does anyone who was treated like that. I find it sad how single mothers put the boyfriend ahead of their children, setting up horrific child abuse situations. They seem to have no problem letting these creepy boyfriends babysit their precious children which is just a set-up for them to be abused.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      It’s not “unfortunate”, it’s abuse!! Physical and emotional abuse. Where was her mother, indeed!! This breaks my heart. Chrissy is so gorgeous inside and out. I would not speak to that POS step father! He apologized? Yeah, no. He is a monster and so is her mother for allowing a man to treat her baby girl like shit.

      • Alissa says:

        I don’t see why my calling it unfortunate means I don’t think it was abuse, which it clearly was. I generally think abuse is unfortunate for the abused person?

  2. Jess says:

    I figured she had a traumatic childhood, this just breaks my heart for her. She seems so genuine and sweet, I hope she’s able to heal and move on from it. I want her to be as healthy as possible so we can have her around longer. Seems like I remember a bit of drama around her role as Kate requiring her to lose weight during the show for the character, I wonder if that’s still happening and if they’ll provide resources and support for her.

  3. Girl_ninja says:

    She’s a strong woman and I’m happy for her success. Being abused by a parent isnt easy to move from.

  4. Astrid says:

    I’m surprised she made amends with her step father. I can’t imagine what he could say that would make it OK for an adult to abuse a teenager.

    • Jess says:

      That shocked me too, shows her need for love and makes me kind of sad, but happy she’s able to forgive him, and it sounds like her mother is still married to him, I couldn’t stay with a man like that.

      • Naptime says:

        I couldn’t be with a man who hits ANYONE, and if that anyone was a child, a female, MY child… I’d probably end up in prison.

  5. Naptime says:

    Eff Trigger and eff her mom for letting this happen. This makes me livid.

    • Snowflake says:

      Yeah, its messed up when a mom chooses a man over her daughter

      • WTW says:

        Women do it every single day.

      • India Rose says:

        I used to work in a women’s shelter. The most dangerous time for a woman (and her children) is when trying to leave. It was incredibly difficult to get an order for protection and even then, what’s really to prevent him from coming after them? Once you’re in a relationship with a man who turns out to be abusive, it can be very hard to get out. We need to be careful about blaming the victims. Domestic murder happens every day.

        That said, if my grandfather were still alive, I’d kick him in the balls and tell him to fuck off. But he never punched us.

      • Geekychick says:

        it’s misoginy at it’s fienst and most cruel: women who think that they are nothing without man, any man, by their side, even at the price of their children being abused. I don’t care how or why those women came to be that way, but I feel nothing but disgust and rage at those women. And I am not sorry and I won’t change my mind-any situation where you don’t protect a child, and you could, makes you a horroble human being.

  6. Patricia says:

    Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but she should not have that stepfather in her life. I’m not saying she shouldn’t forgive, because forgiveness can release her emotions and her heart. But to have him in her life still… doesn’t sound like good self care at all. I’m so sad for what she went through. Hard to even read.

    • NameChange says:

      It looks like most people agree with you, actually. The fact that she allows him in her life after he’s caused so much damage shows that she is still struggling with some unworthiness issues (she might even believe she “deserved” the bad treatment). On the other hand, the fact that she included his abuse in her memoir, instead of glossing over it to keep him or her mom happy, tells me she’s moving in the right direction.

  7. Krill says:

    I think this is a common experience in homes where there is an obese child. He figures he will just lock the fridge to control the kids calories and that doesnt work. Then he focuses on using shame to motivate her to restrict her own calorie intake and then that doesnt work. So then he starts with the weekly weigh-ins and that isnt working. Finally out comes the hitting. This seems to be more ignorance than malice. There need to be better support systems for these parents to teach them how to motivate weight loss in their kids.

    • HK9 says:

      No-it’s malice. If you can do this to another human being it’s malice pure and simple. Think of who you have to be on the inside to do this to another human being on a regular basis. It’s not pretty.

    • NameChange says:

      It’s definitely malice. And I wonder if he would have done that to one of his bio kids.

      • Krill says:

        She says he didnt do it to her other full sister who was slightly larger than average but not as big as her.

    • Peeking in says:

      130-140 lbs as a teenager is hardly obese.

      • India Rose says:

        And even if it were, that’s no excuse for punching a child.

        There IS no excuse for punching a child.

      • Alissa says:

        if most of her friends were 90 lbs, I would guess she was around 11 or 12, not a teen of 16 or so. in which case, yes, that is obese unless she was particularly tall.


    • Dolkite says:

      Yeah, I agree with NameChange. Too often we let people off by saying “they didn’t know any better” and “they were raised that way themselves.” Unless this guy had a serious mental illness or deficiency, any grown adult would know what they were doing was wrong.

    • Geekychick says:

      i don’t get how beating someone is ignorance and not abuse. I could, maybe, see it as ignorance up o that point-the 980ies, different time and so on… (acutally no, but ok). But hitting? straight up abuse.

  8. Kittylouise says:

    This is heartbreaking. The poor woman. I agree that some things are beyond forgiveness and that hideous piece of work shouldn’t have the privilege of being in her life. I really feel for her – she comes across as a warm and lovely woman.

  9. manda says:

    I think that it is also surprising that she has a relationship with her step father. I can see wanting to forgive because hate and anger can be so consuming, but I can’t see wanting to have a relationship. It would be too painful for me, for sure, but I hold grudges

  10. Linda says:

    I had a bio dad who called me fat in public all the time. Anywhere it didn’t matter. He called my mom fat. His sister fat. I was abused by 2 of my brothers. I am 63 now but I decided 10 years ago to work on myself and not let what happened to me control my life and my feelings. I cannot change others but I can change myself. There comes a time when you have to stop blaming the past and take control of your own life. I lost 80 lbs and am healthier than I have ever been. It is possible to move on from your past.

    • wildflower says:

      I’m so glad you have been able to move on from that and I’m sorry it happened to you at all. There are just mean people in the world and it is sad when a child gets stuck with one of them. Congratulations on the weight loss and for being determined to be your best self and letting go of the past. It’s not easy, but you did it!

    • Jaded says:

      You’re a strong woman and I’m so pleased you’ve gotten over your issues!

  11. Mrs Odie says:

    Chrissy seems like a nice person, but I don’t like Kate Pearson. I think the writers need to do a better job with that character. Kevin too. The scenes that aren’t about Jack and Rebecca or about Randall’s family are inferior scenes, IMHO.

    Parents treat overweight kids like this every day. They are programmed by a culture that equates thinness with goodness and fatness with every bad quality. That doesn’t excuse the physical abuse, but the weigh ins, the forced diets, and the comments are pretty standard for a lot of kids. Very sad.

    • Happy21 says:

      I’ve never really liked the way Kate treated Toby. I wouldn’t have married her. LOL!
      And Kevin, ugh.
      Randall, Beth and the girls all the way, all the time!

  12. Janet Gerber says:

    She is beautiful inside and out

  13. xdanix says:

    Oh, the CRUELTY of some people… what an awful man.

    Poor, poor Chrissy. And she seems so incredibly lovely and kind too! Not that if she weren’t she would have deserved it any more (NOBODY deserves that) but it just hurts even more to think of someone so sweet facing a man like that. She has said in many ways Milo Ventimiglia acts like a dad to her off-screen too- he’s too close in age to her to actually BE a dad figure to her, but he’s apparently very supportive, caring, kind etc. I’m so, so glad she has someone/someones (pretty much the whole cast seems to adore her) to give her that feeling of being there for her, because it sounds like she had precious little of that when she was younger.

    She’s obviously a much better woman than I am- I don’t think I’d ever forgive that kind of treatment, let alone have the man in my life and have/want a functioning relationship with him. (I’ve heard her speak kindly of him in other interviews, which is adding to the shock of this for me.) He doesn’t deserve her love.

  14. Amanda says:

    Abuse is never an answer but without more information I think his treatment was out of frustration as opposed to malice. This was 20-30 years ago and there wasn’t as much focus on exercise and healthy eating for children. You had baby fat and you played and grew out of it. She wasn’t growing out of it and was gaining to the point of obesity. My guess is the book goes much deeper, but unless she believes it was a horribly misguided attempt to improve her health I don’t know how else she could forgive that kind of behavior.

  15. Mishka says:

    Very sad. What a horrible thing to endure. And she still loves him. Sounds like a typical case for an abused woman. Also, I hope she becomes a tough cookie in addressing her health threatening weight. She will become very sick if she doesn’t do something now. Very heartbreaking.