Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mike Tyson "breaks down"

Mike Tyson breaks down on Oprah as he speaks about death of four-year-old daughter Exodus

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:13 PM on 13th October 2009

Mike Tyson broke down in tears as he spoke of his grief following the death of his four-year-old daughter Exodus.

The retired boxing champion, 43, was devastated when the youngster accidentally strangled herself on a treadmill cord at her mother Sol Xochitl's house in Phoenix, Arizona on May 25, before dying a day later in hospital.

Nearly five months after the tragic accident, Tyson spoke to U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey about his struggle to accept her death.

Devastation: Mike Tyson broke down as he recalled the May death of his four-year-old daughter Exodus on the Oprah Winfrey Show

Tyson admitted he didn't want to know the finer details of the accident and had refrained from trying to find something or someone to blame.

He said: 'From all my experience in rehab, I took responsibility. She had to be buried, she had to be taken care of.

'There was no animosity. There was no anger towards anybody. I don't know how she died and I don't want to know.

'If I know somebody's to blame for it, there will be a problem.'

Mike Tyson on Oprah Winfrey

Painful times: Tyson told Oprah Winfrey he didn't want anyone to be blamed for the accident

During his emotional interview with Winfrey, Tyson often found himself lost for words or teary-eyed as he recalled the horrific event.

Exodus's older brother Miguel, seven, found her unconscious after her neck got caught in a treadmill cord.

Her mother Xochitl, who is no longer in a relationship with Tyson, administered CPR before calling emergency services.

The child was placed on life support, but died from her injuries the following day.

Mike Tyson Oprah Winfrey Show

Turmoil: Tyson said he turned to drugs after the death of his trainer Cus D'Amato

Mike Tyson on Oprah Winfrey Kiki Spicer

Support: Tyson's third wife Kiki Spicer, mother of their toddler Milan, said her husband had never been aggressive to her

Acknowledging his previous problems with controlling his temper, he said: 'My first instinct was a lot of rage and I am so happy I had the tools in life not to go in that direction.

'I don't want to go there, I want to win now.

'I'm just fortunate that I have children by different women and as a family we're close. That's my biggest asset. We all love each other.'

Tyson has six surviving children - eldest son D'Amato, and daughter Mickey, 19, daughter Rayna, 13, and son Amir, 12, with his second ex-wife Monica Turner; Miguel with Xochitl; and youngest child Milan - daughter of his new wife Kiki Spicer.

Ten days after Exodus's death, Tyson and Spicer married in Las Vegas.

Tyson also spoke about his battle with drugs and alcohol after his trainer and surrogate father Cus D'Amato died in 1985.

Mike Tyson with son Miguel in February 2003

Family loss: Tyson's son Miguel, pictured as a baby in 2003, found his sister Exodus unconscious

He said: 'After he died I started drinking and doing drugs. I lost the desire to fight.

'He was a great guy in so many ways. I wasn't prepared for life after he went.'

Recalling his first marriage to the actress Robin Givens, Tyson denied her claims that he was violent towards her.

He explained: 'I truly wanted to sock her but I didn't. I was just shocked. It was an abusive relationship.'

Boxer Mike Tyson and his wife Robin Givens in July 1988.

Rocky: Tyson's first wife Robin Givens, who he divorced in 1989, claimed he was violent towards her

His new wife Spicer, who was seated in the front row of the audience, supported the boxer.

She told Winfrey: 'I have known him since I was 15, I have never experienced anything but love from him.'

Tyson's appearance was to promote Tyson, a documentary on his turbulent life.

Director James Toback filmed Tyson at one of his lowest points when he checked into rehab for drug and alcohol-related issues in 2007.

In the insightful film, Tyson demonstrates his self-loathing by calling himself a 'leech' and 'insane individual', but contrasts this with boasts of his bedroom activities.

Spicer admitted: 'I have never watched the documentary in its entirety. But we live in the present. I don't want to see what he was like.'

Tyson was the youngest ever competitor to win the heavyweight title and through this he earned the nickname 'Iron Mike'.

However, his career took a battering when he was convicted of raping beauty queen Desiree Washington and served three years in prison.

A year after his release, he horrified boxing fans across the world when he bit a section off Evander Holyfield's right ear during a fight in Las Vegas.

In 2002, Tyson was at the centre of further controversy when he declared before his fight with British fighter Lennox Lewis 'I want his heart. I want to eat his children'.

Tyson quit boxing in June 2005 after losing a match against Irish boxer Kevin McBride.

Mike Tyson at age 14 with Cus d'Amato 1980

Surrogate father: Fourteen-year-old Tyson with his trainer Cus D'Amato in 1980

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