The day Tyson caught Brad with ex-wife
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New York - As A child, he was a heartless, gun-toting burglar, the son of a pimp who fathered 17 children but never raised any of them.
As a boxing superstar who bit a chunk out of an opponent’s ear, he indulged in drug-fuelled orgies and became hopelessly addicted to cocaine and alcohol.
Mike Tyson, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and a convicted rapist, became a byword for ferociousness and monstrous behaviour — in and out of the ring.
Now the “baddest man on the planet” wants the world to forgive him, even as he cashes in on his dissolute, squalid life with what must be the most cynical autobiography for years.
Just a few months after he announced he was on the verge of dying because he was a “vicious” alcoholic, Iron Mike has shaken up the sports world with the book — disingenuously entitled Undisputed Truth — that tries to sound repentant while at the same time wallowing in his thuggish, ugly life and all-consuming addictions to both drugs and women.
As the supposedly reformed ex-boxer tells it on stage and in print, his descent into depravity and excess was pretty much inevitable.
Raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn’s most impoverished and crime-ridden neighbourhood, Tyson’s heavy-drinking mother ran a brothel out of their apartment and beat her erring son savagely.
He claims he was given alcohol as a baby and was snorting cocaine by the time he was 11.
It was at a special school where Tyson was sent for his persistent criminality that boxing trainer Cus D’Amato saw his potential and subjected him to a seven-year training regime during which Tyson had to chant each day: “The best fighter in the world. Nobody can beat me.”
D’Amato’s confidence was justified as Tyson won gold in the 1981 Junior Olympics, knocking out his opponent in just eight seconds.
But even as he became junior national champion, the teenage Tyson was still behaving like a gangster — robbing houses, smoking the hallucinogenic drug angel dust and snorting cocaine. Sporting success only got him so far, he writes, because “you just go back to who you are”.
Pudgy, lisping and “very shy, almost effeminate shy” as a youngster, Tyson discovered that boxing success finally made him attractive to women.
At 20, he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history. In the weeks that followed, he recounts: “Sometimes I’d get naked and put the championship belt on and have sex with a girl.”
After appearing on TV chat-shows and attending celebrity parties, Tyson would slink back to Brownsville. There, he marvelled at his pimp friends and the way they kept their prostitutes in line — even beating them with heated metal clothes hangers.
“We laugh at these guys but we envy them,” writes Tyson. “How do they get this kind of control, to make these women do this stuff and then get money for doing it?”
Women — models, stars, prostitutes, fans — crowded around the boxer as he earned tens of millions of dollars from each fight and he enjoyed them singly or in groups.
He was soon able to “put together a Rolodex of girls in different cities”.
At one party in 1987, he met a model, who he describes as “at the top of her game . . . with an amazing English accent”.
She was Naomi Campbell. They began a relationship, although Tyson was hardly faithful. He was also seeing a Miss America runner-up at the same time and having sex with dozens of other women.
The notoriously temperamental Campbell was less than happy when she discovered he was also dating the actress Robin Givens.
The latter was his “first real relationship,” says Tyson. He was continually being caught out with other women by Givens — although it didn’t stop her agreeing to marry him in 1988.
Despite his serial infidelities, he now claims Givens behaved like a “manipulative shrew” who reduced him to the status of a “trained puppy”.
The marriage lasted a year and included a shocking joint appearance on network TV in which a horrified Tyson sat next to his wife as she told interviewer Barbara Walters how he was out of control and manically depressed.
Despite this, even as the divorce papers were being drawn up, Tyson would still regularly call round for sex at Givens’ house in Los Angeles.
Once, he arrived as she pulled up in her BMW. Out of the passenger seat stepped a long-haired blond who Tyson initially thought was a woman. In fact, it was a deeply dishevelled Brad Pitt, looking “stoned out of his gourd”.
Tyson, a man who enjoys instilling fear in both men and women, recalls with relish the terrified look on the actor’s face as he pleaded: “Dude, don’t strike me . . . we were just going over some lines.”
Givens was “crying, she was scared to death”, says Tyson. “But I wasn’t going to beat no one up.”
After his divorce, Tyson’s lust for excess continued. He loved buying cars, including Lamborghinis, a bullet-proof Hummer and a custom-built Rolls-Royce for which he travelled to the firm’s factory in England to discuss how he wanted it fitted.
He even put a Jacuzzi into one of his limos. In his various homes, “everything was Versace”, right down to the towels and ashtrays.
Tyson claims — probably accurately — that nobody else in the history of boxing had made as much money in so short a period of time. But his early boxing promise was undermined by his relentless partying, which left him overweight and out of shape.
In July 1992, his predatory pursuit of women finally proved his undoing when Desiree Washington, an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant, accused him of raping her in his Indianapolis hotel room.
After being charged by the police, Tyson says he consulted a voodoo priest and a witch-doctor over how he might escape jail. In the event, he was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison (he served only three). He uses his book to make yet another cynical plea of innocence. “How do you rape someone when they come to your hotel at two in the morning?” he asks. The ex-boxer describes in graphic detail how he claims they had consensual sex but then Washington asked him to walk her downstairs. He refused and swore at her.
“I was just a rude, spoiled 25-year-old,” he writes. According to him, Washington felt slighted by his ungentlemanly farewell — and so accused him of rape.
In prison, his wealth meant he could dine on lobster and even get the sexual satisfaction he continually craved — first with visiting fans and then with the prison drug counsellor.
He struck up a relationship with the woman after he sent her $10 000 to mend a storm-damaged roof. “The next day she came in wearing a pretty dress and a big smile,” he boasts. “I guess she got the package.”
Tyson writes smugly: “I was having so much sex that I was too tired to even go to the gym and work out. I’d just stay in my cell all day.”
They even had sex on a desk in a corner of a prison classroom.
“I was worried that it might be a set-up. I was scared that they were going to kick in the door and say that this was a rape. Once we started we couldn’t get enough,” he writes. “She’d be calling me back three times a day.”
The boxer, who compares himself to warrior leaders such as Alexander the Great and Charlemagne, claims he would while away the hours reading Marx, Tolstoy and Shakespeare.
He was 29 by the time he got out of prison and the old bruiser felt slower and less hungry to win in the ring. But his shock-haired promoter, Don King, had lined up a series of lucrative comeback fights. They needed to be.
Tyson was spending money like water — $100 000 on a 2 000 sq ft mural of great fighters from history for a wall in his Las Vegas home, $210 000 on 7ft statues of famous warriors like Hannibal and Genghis Khan to surround his swimming pool.
His 50 000 sq ft home in Connecticut — reputedly the largest in the state — had 13 kitchens and a 5 000 sq ft master bedroom. He even acquired a white tiger cub and called it Kenya. It repaid him by shredding hotel rooms and the roof of his Maserati.
When one woman failed in her bid to sue the boxer after the tiger allegedly bit her, Tyson “felt bad” and gave her $250 000 anyway.
He had so much money, he claims, he once forgot about a duffel bag containing $1-million lying around in a guest room.
Much of his fortune went on drugs and women — two obsessions he would combine during his partying around the world.
In Las Vegas, his favourite party city, strip clubs would assign him a bathroom where he could take women and the bag of cocaine he openly carried, with a straw sticking out like a milkshake. He was such a drug-addled mess he started sleeping in the strip-clubs, and girls robbed him after he passed out.
Impromptu cocaine-fuelled orgies were another Tyson passion. Admittedly the girls were often prostitutes or strippers who were paid to be there, but the boxer presided over sex parties from Los Angeles to Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Many took place in his Las Vegas home — one was interrupted by his probation officer knocking on the front door.
He was spending money faster than he could earn it, especially after 1997 when he was suspended from boxing for the notorious fight with Evander Holyfield when he bit off a chunk of his opponent’s ear.
The horrific act — for which he was disqualified from fighting — has often been cited as proof of Iron Mike’s underlying savagery, and he hardly absolves himself in his book.
He says he bit Holyfield after he was repeatedly head-butted. “I just wanted to kill him,” he writes. “I was furious, I was an undisciplined soldier and I lost my composure.”
Shortly after the fight, Tyson learned he was facing bankruptcy. One of his economy drives showed just how out of control his spending had become — he sold off his cars, all 62 of them.
In 1999, Tyson was back in prison for nine months for assaulting two motorists following a road accident. After his release, he returned to the ring with mixed results, but his personal life was as chaotic as ever.
After suffering a bout of weight loss, Tyson convinced himself he had caught Aids as a result of his promiscuous sex life. In fact, it was food poisoning but by the time he found out, he had already broken the news to his second wife, doctor Monica Turner, who he had married in 1997. After putting up with his infidelity for five years, she filed for divorce. He was finally declared bankrupt in 2003. But just how much money did he get through?
Well, in 2000, he started the year with $3-million and earned more than $65-million, but managed to spend all of it in just 12 months.
As for drugs, the self-confessed “full-blown cokehead” admits he kept taking them until his shock 2004 defeat by British boxer Danny Williams. He had been high before a bout in Glasgow four years earlier, but fooled officials. “I had to use my whizzer, which was a fake penis where you put in someone’s clean urine to pass your drug test,” he admits.
Retiring from boxing in 2006, Tyson has been in and out of rehab in recent years, and has now become a Muslim and a vegan. His friends and apologists have spent recent years insisting he is a reformed man.
He married his third and current wife, Kiki Spicer, a long-time friend, in 2009 and they have two children.
Tyson himself, though, admits to having relapsed on occasion.
“Sometimes I just fantasise about blowing somebody’s brains out so I can go to prison for the rest of my life,” he writes. Only then, he believes, could he keep his addictions at bay.
He says he has had “self-hatred issues”, and claims his pursuit of women was probably because he was looking for someone to mother him: “My whole life I was looking for love from my mother. My mother never gave love to a man. She gave them headaches, she scalded them, she stabbed them.”
The once swaggering bully cuts a pathetic figure now. “I did a lot of bad things and I want to be forgiven,” he says. But read the book or watch the stage-show and you’ll see precious little evidence of repentance from a man who still seems distinctly proud of his truly awful past. - Daily Mail