Advertisement

Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, accusing actress wife Robin Givens...

By J. CRAIG SHEARMAN

TRENTON, N.J. -- Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, accusing actress wife Robin Givens of faking a pregnancy to lure him into marriage and plotting to gain control of his fortune, filed suit Friday seeking an annulment of their eight-month marriage.

The suit, filed in New Jersey Superior Court, followed by one week Givens' filing of a divorce suit in California.

Advertisement

The countersuit puts an apparent end to any efforts to patch up the stormy marriage between the 23-year-old television actress and the 22-year-old undefeated heavyweight champion.

The nine-page suit accused Givens, who stars as Darlene in ABC-TV's 'Head of the Class,' of entering marriage with Tyson 'motivated solely by personal aggrandizement and a need to enhance her level of public recognition and personal wealth.'

The suit accuses Givens of tricking him into marriage with a claim of pregnancy and then manipulating the champ, maneuvering him away from his closest advisers and conducting 'a campaign ... to publicly humiliate the plaintiff, strip him of his manhood and dignity and destroy his credibility as a public figure.'

'It is clear that the defendant (Givens) had not the intention at any time of making the marriage either successful or longstanding,' the suit said.

Advertisement

Tyson, the suit said, 'in reliance upon the defendant's protestation of love and undying affection, coupled with her lie about being pregnant with his child, and other fraudulent inducements, entered the state of matrimony with the defendant to his personal and economic detriment.'

Tyson, using a childlike scrawl 'Mike G. Tyson,' signed a separate affidavit filed with the suit certifying that his lawyer's accusations were true 'to the best of my knowledge.'

Givens' lawyer, Raoul Felder, said in an interview for a Friday night television broadcast that his client preferred not to go to trial and was seeking an out-of-court settlement 'as soon as possible.'

Felder told 'USA Today: The Television Show' that lawyers for Givens and Tyson would meet next Thursday in New York.

'Robin has tried to call her husband, but the Tyson associates won't let them talk,' Felder said. 'What could she do to the heavyweight champion of the world over the telephone?'

'We have never talked about money,' he said. 'This is not on our plate at this time.'

The Tyson suit seeks an annulment of the 'purported marriage' on the grounds of fraud and, in the alternative, a divorce on grounds of extreme mental cruelty. The suit alsocharged Givens with the 'intentional infliction of emotional distress.'

Advertisement

Because the marriage was a short one, Tyson's lawyers argued, Givens has 'no legal or equitable right to be enriched through a sharing of his earnings and the assets acquired by his earnings.'

An 'equitable distribution of all property acquired during the marriage' would include, the suit said, a provision that Tyson get back 100 percent of his investment in the couple's Bernardsville, N.J., mansion.

That, the suit said, would prevent Givens 'from being unjustly enriched' at the expense of Tyson, who is undefeated with 31 knockouts in 35 professional fights.

Givens' suit, filed under California's liberal community property laws, seeks half of whatever the couple acquired during their marriage, including Tyson's share of the $21 million he earned in a 91-second June 27 knockout of Michael Spinks.

Tyson's countersuit in New Jersey was filed by lawyer John Trombadore, who represented former carmaker John DeLorean in a successful bid to move his divorce case to New Jersey and escape the provisions of California law.

Tyson and Givens, who dated for about a year, were married at a Chicago church Feb. 7 and repeated their vows in a civil ceremony in New York Feb. 12. Almost immediately, the marriage was plagued by reports and rumors of bizarre behavior, mental illness, violence and power struggles.

Advertisement

Before Tyson's Atlantic City showdown with Spinks, Givens' sister alleged that Tyson beat Robin Givens. That charge was hotly denied by Tyson. There were also widely circulated suggestions that Robin Givens and her mother were manipulating Tyson to gain control of his estimated $50 million fortune.

In an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's '20-20' on Sept. 30, with Tyson sitting beside her, Givens told Walters that life with him was 'torture ... pure hell ... worse than anything I could possible imagine.'

Tyson has an 'extremely volatile temper,' Givens said in the interview. She said she had grown 'very much afraid' of him, believing he was a manic-depressive.

'She can take everything I have and just leave,' Tyson said in the interview.

The undefeated world heavyweight champion said in the interview that he loved his wife and would not stop her if she tried to divorce him. Friends have since suggested that he was encouraged by Givens and her mother to take prescription drugs to make him appear docile and apathetic during the interview.

Several days after the broadcast, on Oct. 2, Givens called police to the couple's Bernardsville home, saying Tyson had flown into a rage and smashed furniture because he was upset by her televised comments. At the time, Givens declined to sign a domestic violence complaint.

Advertisement

A psychiatrist Tyson consulted a few days later denied that the champ was manic-depressive.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement