Remembering When Mike Tyson Divorced The ‘Most Hated Woman In America’

A whirlwind romance and eight-month marriage between the world heavyweight champion and an actress set the media aflame in the late 80s. Described as ‘the Lady and the Champ’ by People Magazine, Mike Tyson and Robin Givens met in 1987 and became engaged within months. But after one of the most controversial celebrity couple interviews ever broadcast, the couple divorced – with Givens claiming she suffered physical and emotional abuse from Tyson, and Tyson deriding Givens as an ambitious gold-digger.


The media overwhelmingly sided with Tyson, dubbing Givens ‘the most hated woman in America’. The couple’s conflicting accounts of each other’s behaviour – not to mention financial settlements – fuelled the acrimony. Rumours of an affair between givens and Brad Pitt added further to public curiosity about the divorce. Today we’re taking a closer look at one of the most high-profile celebrity splits of all time.

Promptly, Givens’ lawyers penned a “cease and desist” demand to Tyson, requesting that he does not engage with Givens while the biopic is researched and produced.

“[We] demand that Mr Tyson cease and desist from further defaming Ms Givens, and to put those producing, writing and/or directing the proposed Tyson biopic, and those producing Mr Tyson’s podcast, on notice that they are to refrain from portraying Ms Givens in a false, negative and defamatory light,” her legal team wrote.

d Remembering When Mike Tyson Divorced The 'Most Hated Woman In America'

“While [she] has attempted to move on, she still finds herself fighting the abusive, demeaning and false accounts of their relationship by Mr Tyson nearly 35 years later,” the letter noted.

Speaking to Wendy Williams in 2018, Givens said her life transformed for the better when she left Tyson. “I would like to believe I’m a better person for it, more compassionate and more loving. I hope.”

The actress, who today stars in Riverdale, Ambition and Batwoman, spent time as a spokeswoman for the National Domestic Violence Hotline after her divorce.

“Somebody told me you were ground zero of #MeToo and I pray that anything I’ve gone through, however difficult it was for me, helps someone else,” she said.