The world may know Mike Tyson as the heavyweight champion of the world, but there’s a deep-rooted secret to his toughness.
During an interview with ESPN’s E:60, Tyson discussed the time he was sexually assaulted at the tender age of 7. He told ESPN’s Jeremy Schapp that he was grabbed by a man who attempted to pull him to a building. Tyson did not disclose further details of the assault.
“Well I don’t like to talk about that, I like to keep that where it was in the past, but I was molested as a child.”
Schapp then asked how the experience affected him.
“It made me have to be tough for the world I lived in,’ Tyson said.
Schapp has interviewed the boxing legend several times over the last 25 years, but this is the first time he has discussed this particular topic with him.
“It was no one’s business to know, people just don’t talk about it because to some people they believe it’s demasculating them,” Tyson said.
Despite “probably” feeling shame due to what happened to him, Tyson said he’s grown to understand how it has affected his life.
“I learned that it doesn’t make you any less of a man because it happened,” he said.
Check out an excerpt of the exclusive ESPN interview below.