Thandie Newton

*Tyler Perry says he was on vacation and just days away from starting production on an adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s 1975 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf when one of his leading ladies, Mariah Carey, called to tell him she was dropping out.

“I said, ‘What? You’re kidding me?,'” Perry writes lightheartedly in his latest letter to fans. “It’s five days before she has to go to work; nobody does that. We have a deal.”

Cutting his vacation short, Perry flew back to Atlanta where the movie is filming and selected Thandie Newton to fill Carey’s role.

As for the pregnancy rumors surrounding Carey’s sudden departure, Perry would only say that the singer-actress had to leave the project on doctor’s orders.

“I was told that we got a call, saying that even though our deal was done, she had been advised by her doctor not to do the film,” Perry writes. “I said, ‘What? You know I want a doctor’s note, don’t you? LOL.”

“All I know,” he writes, “is that I’m waiting just like the rest of the world to find out what happened.”

In the end, he doesn’t hold Carey’s decision against her.

“What I do know of [Carey] is that she is a professional and wouldn’t back out of a deal unless it was a major issue,” Perry writes. “So, whatever is going on, I wish her and Nick [Cannon] the best and she has all my love, prayers and support.

“I just wish I could have finished my Mai Tai before I had to get back and re-cast this role!”

Newton, meanwhile, will join a stellar “Colored Girl” cast that includes Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington and Janet Jackson.