What Did Mike Tyson and Robin Givens Say in an Interview with Barbara Walters?
The controversial interview in which Mike Tyson’s ex-wife, Robin Givens, accused her former husband of domestic violence as he stood next to her on live television will be featured prominently in the first episode of a new documentary on the former world heavyweight champion.
On Tuesday, May 25 at 8 p.m. ET, ABC will premiere Mike Tyson: The Knockout, a four-hour, two-part documentary about the boxing legend.
Tyson’s journey from a bullied kid who spent time in a juvenile detention facility to one of the greatest heavyweights in history is chronicled in the series, which also delves into his myriad problems outside the ring, including Tyson’s turbulent marriage with Givens, which is featured prominently in the first chapter.
Tyson and Givens married in February 1988, but their union was short-lived, as they divorced almost a year later. Seven months into their union, the pair went on national television to discuss their problems with Barbara Walters of ABC’s 20/20.
Givens, who starred in ABC’s sitcom Head of the Class, described being married to the world’s heavyweight champion as “torture, absolute hell, worse than anything I could possibly imagine” with Tyson by her side.
Givens said Tyson had a “highly volatile temper,” that he had serious psychiatric problems, and that he had struck her in the interview.
“Every three months or so, I think people see that [Tyson’s temper],” she said.
“He has a frightening side to him.”
“He trembles. He is a pushover. He swings his arms. He seems to be trying to intimidate me at times.”
When Walters asked Givens how she felt about rumors that Tyson had pursued her and her girlfriend, Ruth Roper, during a trip to Russia, Givens said:
“There are times when I thought I could handle it, and just recently, I’ve become afraid. I mean very, very much afraid. For instance, in Russia, I was afraid. Michael is a manic depressive.”
A week prior to his appearance on 20/20, the New York Post quoted Tyson as saying he had been diagnosed with manic disorder. The paper added the boxer had agreed to undergo therapy after talks with his wife and his mother-in-law.
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