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NY Post
New York Post
1 Jul 2023

NextImg:Tyler Perry backs woman, 93, in fight against SC developer for her home

Billionaire media mogul Tyler Perry is throwing his support behind a 93-year-old South Carolina woman embroiled in a battle to keep her home and land linked to her family since the Civil War.

Josephine Wright, of Hilton Head Island, S.C., and her family said she was slapped a “frivolous lawsuit” by Norcross, Ga.-based developer Bailey Point Investment Group, in a play to force her to sell her 1.8-acre parcel of land bordering its upcoming neighborhood development, WSAV reported.

Perry, the actor-director behind the “Madea” franchise, leapt to Wright’s defense on Wednesday, posting on Instagram an interview clip with Wright, who told local outlet, “I’ve pretty much been a fighter all my life.”

“Well, that makes two of us,” Perry wrote. “Ms. Wright, please tell where to show up and what you need to help you fight.”

The Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill also chimed in with moral support, writing, “Corporate bullying at its finest .. this super hero status!”

Tyler Perry posted on Instagram an interview with Wright, saying he’d be willing to aid her in her legal battle.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The David versus Goliath clash on toney Hilton Head began earlier this year, after the town green-lit Bailey Point’s plan to build a 147-unit development behind Wright’s historic home, which has long served as a communal space for her and her family — which includes 40 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great-grandchildren.

After Wright refused the company’s offer to buy the home and land that has been in her family since just after the Civil War, Bailey Point sued in February.

The company claimed in it lawsuit, obtained by The Post, that parts of Wright’s property were encroaching on the 29-acre parcel, which “significantly delayed and hindered” its construction and cost the developer significant time and expenses.

Wright's home in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Wright’s attorneys claim she has suffered harassment and intimidation by Bailey Point Investment Group, which built a road just feet from her back porch.

On a GoFundMe set up to help with the family’s legal expenses, Wright’s granddaughter Charise Graves wrote that they had already spent thousands to address some of the encroachment issues, including removing a satellite dish and a storage shed that Bailey Point claimed were on its land.

They are looking to install a fence separating the home’s back porch from a road the developer recently installed.

“Bailey Point Investment is trying to force her off the land so they can develop it for their profit,” Graves wrote.

Attorneys for Wright, meanwhile, filed a counterclaim, noting that she has suffered intimidation and harassment by the company, with people trespassing and “trashing her property” by cutting shrubs, and causing dirt and debris to cover her car, in an attempt to force her to sell her land.

Map of the development and Wright's home
Support nationwide has flooded in to help Wright cover her legal expenses to keep her home.

“We come to grandma’s house for holidays, you know, fellowship, anything, funerals, barbecues,” Graves told WTOC. “To try to take that away is taking it away from our entire family and all our descendants, and I think it’s just in poor taste.”

Local and national coverage of the lawsuit has led to a swell of support for Wright from across the country, with nearly $146,000 in donations flooding into the GoFundMe, with $40,000 coming from NBA star Kyrie Irving, the Hilton Head Island Packet reported.

“In my struggle here on Hilton Head Island on Jonesville Road, I find that I am not alone,” Wright said in a video.

Perry and Wright could not immediately be reached for comment.