Robin Givens remains deeply traumatized by ex-husband Mike Tyson, telling People magazine that she felt “like the world was crumbling again” when she heard about the upcoming biopic of the heavyweight boxer.
The film, which will star Oscar winner Jamie Foxx as Tyson, was triggering for the Riverdale star, who filed for divorce from Tyson in 1988 after eight months of marriage, saying he had physically abused her.
“I felt this drop in the pit of my stomach and was like, ‘Oh no, here we go again,’” Givens told People.
Tyson himself admitted to hitting Givens, though the man who recorded 44 career knockouts characterized the abuse as mutual—“I have socked her before, and she socked me before, as well. It was just that kind of relationship,” he told Oprah Winfrey in 2009.
But as Givens made clear to People, the pain of the relationship didn’t end with the dissolution of their marriage.
“I remember my ex-husband calling up and saying, ‘I’ve decided I’m not going to kill you. I’m going to make your life so miserable you’re going to slit your own throat and die,’” she said.
Tyson has “re-victimize[d] her” in the years since, Givens continued, particularly in his one-man show Undisputed Truth and his memoir. She also accused him of saying inaccurate, “slanderous” things about her on his podcast, “Hotboxing With Mike Tyson.”
Among the false allegations, she said, are claims that she stole Tyson’s money and that he once found her in bed with former flame Brad Pitt—both of which she denies.
“He’s not physically hitting me anymore, but it hurts almost as much,” she said.
Fearful of how she might be represented in the upcoming biopic, Givens filed a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action if the movie features “derogatory and slanderous remarks” about her. A rep for Tyson told People they hadn’t received such a letter, but that Tyson and the filmmakers had not intended to include his relationship with Givens in the movie.
Still, Givens is glad she stood up for herself—a departure from how she used to respond, she told People. As for being kept out of the Tyson biopic, Givens told the celebrity news outlet, “I’m more than relieved.”