“I look at the world through the eyes of hell.” Grew up in Brooklyn with neglect no clean clothes or heating, made money aged 11 fighting anyone after leaving school age seven. Physically beaten by his mother and bullied, started to hang around with people who taught him to rob houses.
When fighting he imagined the opponents were the people who had bullied him when he was
younger. Retribution time.
Brownsville a particularly deprived area in Brooklyn, New York where people said to him “You’re the only hope we have. We ain’t going to never go nowhere Mike, we’re going to die right here in Brownsville. We’ve got to tell people before we die that we hung out with you That’s Tyson, he won the Junior Olympics twice.”
Also was advised “The ones who lost and quit, well their demons will follow them to their grave because they had a chance to face them and they didn’t. You have to face your demons, Mike, or they will follow you to eternity. Remember to always be careful how you fight your fights because the way that you fight your fights will be the way that you live your life.”
On Brownsville he says ”People who didn’t know me would make a big deal about me going back to Brownsville and giving my money away. But it wasn’t like that. People who came from where I had come from had a responsibility to take care of their friends even if it was twenty years later.”
After achieved success he enjoyed his time more and started to train less as he started to fuck and party, as opposed to just train. Describes orgies and sharing women with his body guards.
Was sent to prison for rape, states at that point he didn’t pay much attention to my trial as it happened; as he was an arrogant young man who couldn’t be bothered with these kinds of proceedings. I didn’t
understand them. That’s what I paid those suits for.
After a while in prison, began to see the humanity in everyone, even the racist guards. Started to get familiar with them when they told you that someone in their family died or that they had problems with their wife. States when he really saw how the system worked, I began to manipulate things to his advantage. Whilst in prison had sex with a female prison drug teacher. Initially paid to have her roof fixed, then had multiple ‘teaching’ sessions with her got her pregnant, sent his friend with her to get an abortion – seemingly his friend was embarrassed as she was overweight.
Throughout his life he had multiple people trying to get money out of him. Diagnosed with mental health illness, depression and bipolar affective disorder. Started to smoke a lot of cannabis stopped training and partying very hard. Unfortunately developed a significant cocaine habit, multiple people accused him of rape however when got a good lawyer unlike first time he had a poor lawyer and charged.
He was fearful that he had AIDS as had sex with lots of people, one who had died on AIDS and he had lost weight.
When preparing against Lennox Lewis he was taking lots of cocaine & cannabis, not training. In part from the cocaine he was even more aggressive and had difficulty controlling himself in press conferences. Mentions training with 2,500 sit ups per day with weights attached that caused him to break his back. Also mentions about walking 100 miles per day when high on drugs, this kept him fit but he also phoned the police on his security saying they were following him around. Didn’t carry water with him. His celebrity status seems to have saved him on a few encounters with police although he always perceives himself as a street person.
Describes one of a few drunken fights that were rather pointless; started throwing vicious lefts and
rights, but he slid away from my drunken swings and took off dropping a mink coat. So he picked up the other person’s mink coat, pulled down my pants, and wiped his ass with the mink. By now the sun had come up and there were a lot of people going to work, got sued for this.
On drugs he mentions “I tried heroin once when I was younger. I smoked it and it made me feel really bad. I had to throw up. Just looking at junkies was enough to put me off heroin. I could look at a heroin addict and see that his soul was gone. You figure that’s what you have to look forward to. I started buying and sniffing coke when I was eleven but I’d been drinking alcohol since I was a baby. I come from a long line of drunks. My mother used to give me Thunderbird or Gordon’s gin to make me go to sleep. When I was ten, my friends and I would buy bottles of Mad Dog 20/20, Bacardi 151, Brass Monkey, the real cheap shit that kills your guts. We also started smoking weed and hash and even opium and angel dust. I even did some blotter acid once when I was young. We did some jostling when we were high on acid but that didn’t work out so well. We’d be snatching shit and laughing and running. “The cops, the cops, they’re coming.” We’d laugh and hide under a car. Except for one two-year stretch and the time I was in prison, I always drank.”
On sex he reflect: “What did all my sexual conquests amount to? When you’re fucking all those girls it makes you feel like shit but you can’t stop doing it. You hate yourself and you feel sorry for the girl. I never loved them. Everything I said was a fucking lie, even if I didn’t realize that at the time. Being with all those women was the equivalent of masturbating. I had a lot of fun but it didn’t produce anything. I thought I’d get emotional satisfaction out of sleeping with them but I was just a smuck. I was in love
with love, not the actual individual. I felt like I was in a hole and the more people I fucked the more despair I felt. It’s a bad feeling when they’re gone and you’re alone in your bedroom and you can still feel some of their moisture on the bed. That was hell. I just felt so soulless. So then you just get more girls in so you don’t have to think about that feeling.”
Travelled widely, Jamaica, Cuba mingled with A-listers. In Chechnya learned from that trip was to
let people be in charge and not to be confrontational. One of his children died as a baby, unsurprisingly found this extremely difficult. “Someone has to pay and take the pain, even if it’s me. It’s been four years now and I still don’t know how I’m going to survive this. I often wonder that, if I was there, maybe things would have been different.”
Born Catholic then became Muslim when in prison. Mentions that the concept of God is too complicated. I just don’t understand religion and God. I want to, but I don’t.
When making hajj others said “We’ve got the Mighty Mike Tyson making hajj here.” They didn’t care about me as a person, they just cared about their publicity agenda. At hajj, I realized that I could never be a good Muslim in the strictest pious sense. I brought a lot of baggage into the religion with me. But I could listen to the teachings of the Prophet and try to live my way on the same path. Judge people on the goodness of their hearts.
He states his chronic negative self-image doesn’t need much ammunition to act out and sabotage whatever joy and happiness he obtained. Filed for bankruptcy someone even stole his credit card then wrote online he didn’t he have enough money to pay for a meal. At that point reflected “I don’t have no watch, no money, no phone, but I feel so peaceful. No one’s telling me to ‘go here,’ ‘go there,’ ‘do this.’ I used to have cars that I never drove and I wouldn’t even know where the keys for them were. I had houses I didn’t live in. I had everybody robbing me. Now I have nothing. Nobody calls me, nobody bothers me, nobody is after me. It’s so peaceful. This is rich, man.”
After being broke has started out a new career as an actor starred in Hangover films and a new chance for him to earn money. Interestingly keeps roller pigeons as pets, .
When you’ve never had anything, you tend to want to accumulate a lot when you can. But as you get older, you realize that life is not about accumulation, life is about loss. The older you get, the more loss you experience. We lose our hair, we lose our teeth, we lose our loved ones. Hopefully we learn to be strong from those losses and we can pass on our wisdom to the people we care about.