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Undisputed Truth: My Autobiography

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2019 год
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      Undisputed Truth: My Autobiography
Mike Tyson

Love him or loathe him, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson is an icon and one of the most fascinating sporting figures of our time. In this no-holds-barred autobiography, Tyson lays bare his demons and tells his story: from poverty to stardom to hell and back againIn this, his first, autobiography, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson pulls no punches and lays bare the story of his remarkable life and career. Co-written with Larry Sloman, author of Antony Keidis’s best-selling memoir ‘Scar Tissue’, this is a visceral, and unputdown-able story of a man born and raised to brutality, who reached the heights of stardom before falling to crime, substance abuse and infamy.Full of all the controversy and complexity that you would expect from a man who delighted as much as he shocked, this is a book that will surprise people and reveal a fascinating character beneath the exterior of violence.If you think you know all about Mike Tyson, read this book and think again.

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THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO ALL THE OUTCASTS –

EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER BEEN MESMERIZED,

MARGINALIZED, TRANQUILIZED, BEATEN DOWN,

AND GOTTEN THE WRONG END OF THE STICK.

AND INCAPABLE OF RECEIVING LOVE.

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I spent most of the six weeks between my conviction for rape and sentencing traveling around the country romancing all of my various girlfriends. It was my way of saying good-bye to them. And when I wasn’t with them, I was fending off all the women who propositioned me. Everywhere I’d go, there were some women who would come up to me and say, “Come on, I’m not going to say that you raped me. You can come with me. I’ll let you film it.” I later realized that that was their way of saying “We believe you didn’t do it.” But I didn’t take it that way. I’d strike back indignantly with a rude response. Although they were saying what they said out of support, I was in too much pain to realize it. I was an ignorant, mad, bitter guy who had a lot of growing up to do.

But some of my anger was understandable. I was a twenty-five-year-old kid facing sixty years in jail.

My promoter, Don King, had kept assuring me that I would walk from these charges. He had hired Vince Fuller, the best lawyer that a million-dollar fee could buy. But I knew from the start that I was in trouble. I wasn’t being tried in New York or Los Angeles; we were in Indianapolis, Indiana, historically one of the strongholds of the Ku Klux Klan. My judge, Patricia Gifford, was a former sex crimes prosecutor and was known as “the Hanging Judge.” I had been found guilty by a jury of my “peers,” two of whom were black. Another black jury member had been excused by the judge after a fire in the hotel where the jurors were ­staying.

But in my mind, I had no peers. I was the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing. I was a titan, the reincarnation of Alexander the Great. My style was impetuous, my defenses were impregnable, and I was ferocious. It’s amazing how a low self-esteem and a huge ego can give you delusions of grandeur. But after the trial, this god among men had to get his black ass back in court for his ­sentencing.

But first I tried some divine intervention. Calvin, my close friend from Chicago, told me about some hoodoo woman who could cast a spell to keep me out of jail.

“You piss in a jar, then put five hundred-dollar bills in there, then put the jar under your bed for three days and then bring it to her and she’ll pray over it for you,” Calvin told me.

“So the clairvoyant broad is gonna take the pissy pile of hundreds out of the jar, rinse them off, and then go shopping. If somebody gave you a hundred-dollar bill they pissed on, would you care?” I asked Calvin. I had a reputation for throwing around money but that was too much even for me.

Then some friends tried to set me up with a voodoo priest. But they brought around this guy who had a suit on. The guy didn’t even look like a drugstore voodoo guy. This asshole needed to be in the swamp; he needed to have on a dashiki. I knew that guy had nothing. He didn’t even have a ceremony planned. He just wrote some shit on a piece of paper and tried to sell me on some bullshit I didn’t do. He wanted me to wash in some weird oil and pray and drink some special water. But I was drinking goddamn Hennessy. I wasn’t going to water down my Hennessy.

So I settled on getting a Santeria priest to do some witch doctor shit. We went to the courthouse one night with a pigeon and an egg. I dropped the egg on the ground as the bird was released and I yelled, “We’re free!” A few days later, I put on my gray pin-striped suit and went to court.

After the verdict had been delivered, my defense team had put together a presentence memorandum on my behalf. It was an impressive document. Dr. Jerome Miller, the clinical director of the Augustus Institute in Virginia and one of the nation’s leading experts on adult sex offenders, had examined me and concluded that I was “a sensitive and thoughtful young man with problems more the result of developmental deficits than of pathology.” With regular psychotherapy, he was convinced that my long-term prognosis would be quite good. He concluded, “A term in prison will delay the process further and more likely set it back. I would strongly recommend that other options with both deterrent and treatment potential be considered.” Of course, the probation officers who put together their sentencing document left that last paragraph out of their summary. But they were eager to include the prosecution’s opinion, “An assessment of this offense and this offender leads the chief investigator of this case, an experienced sex crimes detective, to conclude that the defendant is inclined to commit a similar offense in the future.”

My lawyers prepared an appendix that contained forty-eight testimonials to my character from such diverse people as my high school principal, my social worker in upstate New York, Sugar Ray Robinson’s widow, my adoptive mother, Camille, my boxing hypnotherapist, and six of my girlfriends (and their mothers), who all wrote moving accounts of how I had been a perfect gentleman with them. One of my first girlfriends from Catskill even wrote the judge, “I waited three years before having sexual intercourse with Mr. Tyson and not once did he force me into anything. That is the reason I love him, because he loves and respects women.”

But of course, Don being Don, he had to go and overdo it. King had the Reverend William F. Crockett, the Imperial First Ceremonial Master of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine of North and South America, write a letter on my behalf. The Reverend wrote, “I beseech you to spare him incarceration. Though I have not spoken to Mike since the day of his trial, my information is that he no longer uses profanity or vulgarity, reads the Bible daily, prays and trains.” Of course, that was all bullshit. He didn’t even know me.

Then there was Don’s personal heartfelt letter to the judge. You would have thought that I had come up with a cure for cancer, had a plan for peace in the Middle East, and nursed sick kittens back to health. He talked about my work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation visiting with sick kids. He informed Judge Gifford that every Thanksgiving we gave away forty thousand turkeys to the needy and the hungry. He recounted the time we met with Simon Wiesenthal and I was so moved that I donated a large sum of money to help him hunt down Nazi war criminals.

This went on for eight pages, with Don waxing eloquently about me. “It is highly unusual for a person his age to be concerned about his fellow man, let alone with the deep sense of commitment and dedication that he possesses. These are God-like qualities, noble qualities of loving, giving and unselfishness. He is a child of God: one of the most gentle, sensitive, caring, loving, and understanding persons that I have ever met in my twenty years’ experience with boxers.” Shit, Don should have delivered the closing arguments instead of my lawyer. But John Solberg, Don’s public relations man, cut right to the chase in his letter to Judge Gifford. “Mike Tyson is not a scumbag,” he wrote.

I might not have been a scumbag, but I was an arrogant prick. I was so arrogant in the courtroom during the trial that there was no way they were going to give me a break. Even in my moment of doom, I was not a humble person. All those things they wrote about in that report – giving people money and turkeys, taking care of people, looking out for the weak and the infirm – I did all those things because I wanted to be that humble person, not because I was that person. I wanted so desperately to be humble but there wasn’t a humble bone in my body.

So, armed with all my character testimonials, we appeared in Judge Patricia Gifford’s court on March 26, 1992, for my sentencing. Witnesses were permitted and Vince Fuller began the process by calling to the stand Lloyd Bridges, the executive director of the Riverside Residential Center in Indianapolis. My defense team was arguing that instead of jail time, my sentence should be suspended and I should serve my probation term at a halfway house where I could combine personal therapy with community service. Bridges, an ordained minister, ran just such a program and he testified that I would certainly be a prime candidate for his facility.

But the assistant prosecutor got Bridges to reveal that there had been four escapes recently from his halfway house. And when she got the minister to admit that he had interviewed me in my mansion in Ohio and that we had paid for his airfare, that idea was dead in the water. So now it was only a matter of how much time the Hanging Judge would give me.

Fuller approached the bench. It was time for him to weave his ­million-dollar magic. Instead, I got his usual two-bit bullshit. “Tyson came in with a lot of excess baggage. The press has vilified him. Not a day goes by that the press doesn’t bring up his faults. This is not the Tyson I know. The Tyson I know is a sensitive, thoughtful, caring man. He may be terrifying in the ring, but that ends when he leaves the ring.” Now, this was nowhere near Don King hyperbole, but it wasn’t bad. Except that Fuller had just spent the whole trial ­portraying me as a savage animal, a crude bore, bent solely on sexual ­satisfaction.

Then Fuller changed the subject to my poverty-stricken childhood and my adoption by the legendary boxing trainer Cus D’Amato.

“But there is some tragedy in this,” he intoned. “D’Amato only ­focused on boxing. Tyson, the man, was secondary to Cus D’Amato’s quest for Tyson’s boxing greatness.” Camille, who was Cus’s companion for many years, was outraged at his statement. It was like Fuller was pissing on the grave of Cus, my mentor. Fuller went on and on, but he was as disjointed as he had been for the entire trial.

Now it was my time to face the court. I got up and stood behind the podium. I really hadn’t been prepared properly and I didn’t even have any notes. But I did have that stupid voodoo guy’s piece of paper in my hand. And I knew one thing – I wasn’t going to apologize for what went on in my hotel room that night. I apologized to the press, the court, and the other contestants of the Miss Black America pageant, where I met Desiree, but not for my actions in my room.
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