Robin Givens Seeks Divorce From Heavyweight Champ Mike Tyson
Oct. 08, 1988
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A judge ordered heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to stay away from his wife, actress Robin Givens, after she filed for divorce and described her eight- month marriage as ''a continuous horror story'' of domestic violence.
Friday's order by Superior Court Judge Hugh E. MacBeth Jr. requires Tyson to stay at least 1,000 yards from Miss Givens and the Burbank Studios set where she tapes her TV series, ''Head of the Class.'' It also forbids the 22- year-old boxer from going near Miss Givens' mother, Ruth Roper, and sister, Stephanie Givens.
''My husband, Michael Gerard Tyson, has throughout our marriage been violent and physically abusive and prone to unprovoked rages of violence and destruction,'' Miss Givens stated in a declaration filed with her divorce petition Friday.
The 23-year-old actress cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for ending the marriage to Tyson, whose wealth is estimated at $40 million.
''The most recent incident in which I was physically terrorized by Michael occurred on Oct. 2, 1988,'' at the couple's Bernardsville, N.J., mansion, Miss Givens said. ''I was awakened by Michael's hitting about my body and my head with his closed fist and open hand.
''Michael appeared, by his actions and by his breath, to be intoxicated and I discovered that he had been drinking champagne early in the morning.
''The above described incident was the latest in a continuous horror story for me. Michael has repeatedly hit me, threw things at me, threatened to kill me'' and also threatened to kill her mother, sister and employees, Miss Givens said.
Tyson's lawyer, Howard Weitzman, who successfully defended automaker John DeLorean from cocaine trafficking charges, declined comment on the divorce petition until he and Tyson see it.
But he added: ''I think Michael is disappointed, given the circumstances, that the relationship has resolved itself in the manner it has. In a sense he is relieved that he could put his life back in order and could go on with his life.
Miss Givens hired Marvin Mitchelson as her lawyer. Among his clients have been actress Joan Collins, and Michele Triola in her ground-breaking ''palimony'' case against actor Lee Marvin.
Mitchelson denied that Miss Givens filed for divorce in California because of the state's community property law, which entitles a spouse to half of a couple's earnings during their marriage. He said the couple spent 70 percent of their time at the actress' Hollywood Hills home.
Mitchelson said he was retained by Miss Givens after Sunday's alleged attack.
''Miss Givens is very unhappy about filing this action. She loves Mike Tyson. She tried to protect Mike Tyson and nurture him. She wishes him every good thing in life,'' Mitchelson said.
During an interview with Barbara Walters on the Sept. 30 broadcast of ABC- TV's ''20-20,'' Miss Givens said her husband has an ''extremely volatile temper'' and that life with him was ''torture ... pure hell.''
Miss Givens told Miss Walters that Tyson is a manic-depressive and is seeking help, but a doctor who examined Tyson said this week that he did not suffer from the condition.
Tyson told Miss Walters that he loves his wife and would not stand in her way if she chose to leave.
''My wife would just have to ask for it and she has every penny I have,'' said Tyson.
The couple had no prenuptial agreement on how the couple's assets would be split in case of divorce.
The divorce action comes during a stormy year for Tyson. He cracked a bone in his right hand in a late-night fight on a street in New York City's Harlem section, and was reported to have threatened suicide before he drove his car into a tree last month in New York state.