As a star on the award-winning drama This Is Us, Chrissy Metz seems to have it all. But in her new book This Is Me, the 37-year-old actress opens up about life before fame and childhood abuse.
According to an excerpt of the book published in People, Metz's biological father left her, her mother Denise and her two siblings Monica and Philip when Metz was just 8 years old. Her mother went on to have another child, Morgana, with a new boyfriend and eventually married a man named Trigger. The family moved in with Trigger and his daughter, and Metz's mother had another child, Abigail, with him.
While Metz claimed Trigger loved his biological children and her sister Morgana, she wrote that he didn't show the same affection towards her.
"My body seemed to offend him, but he couldn't help but stare, especially when I was eating," Metz wrote, per the excerpt. "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."
As a result, Metz would "hide her eating" and eat to experience "the brief bliss of numbness." She also found joy in entertaining her sisters—an early indication she was destined for stardom.
Metz wrote that her stepfather would also physically abuse her.
"I don't remember why Trigger hit me the first time. He never punched my face. Just my body, the thing that offended him so much," she wrote, per People. "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."
Sadly, Metz wrote that the abuse became worse as a teen and claimed Trigger weighed her.
"He sat in a chair next to the scale as I got on. ‘Good God almighty!' he yelled every single time," she wrote. "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."
Still, through it all, Metz loved her stepfather.
According to People, Trigger has since shown remorse for their past. Metz claimed he even wrote her a letter when she moved to Hollywood to pursue acting in which he told her how proud he was of her and that he loved her.
"That's all I ever wanted him to say," she wrote.
However, Trigger, whose real name is Crayton Hodge, denies Metz's allegations.
"I don't remember things the way she does. I'll disagree with everything in there, except the part that I love her," he told E! News. "I still love her as much as I ever have. I've taken care of her like she's one of mine and I would continue to do so in the future if need be."
He also told E! News he last spoke to Metz two months ago after his wife suffered a stroke and that he had "no idea" Metz was going to include her allegations in the book.
"I love her as much as I ever have," he said. "I don't care what she says."
In addition to writing about her stepfather, Metz wrote about her first boyfriend, who she said refused to publicly acknowledge her because of her weight, and the fat-shaming she's experienced in Hollywood.
To read more of Metz's interview, visit People.com or check out the magazine's cover story—on newsstands Mar. 23.