Robin Givens breaks silence on her Mike Tyson abuse allegations being 'ground zero of MeToo' movement

Ra'eesah Manack
Nov 24, 2018
03:05 A.M.

Robin Givens says she was part of the victims who laid the foundation for the Global #MeToo movement which spread after she came out with allegations against her then-husband, Mike Tyson.


Before the #MeToo movement spread through Hollywood, actress Robin Givens accused her now ex-husband Mike Tyson of physically abusing her during their relationship. Unfortunately, instead of finding support from the African-American community she was inundated with negative backlash.

In a joint interview with Tyson on 20/20 in 1988, Givens had decided to speak out about the abuse she was suffering. She told host Barbara Walters that Tyson was “torture, pure hell, worse than anything I could possibly imagine.”

“I think that there’s a time when he cannot control his temper, and that’s frightening,” she said at the time. Tyson would eventually admit in a later interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had “socked” Givens.


However, Givens has now revisited her past on The Wendy Williams Show with the new movement gaining momentum allowing her to speak up without fear of backlash.

In a recent guest appearance on the Wendy Williams Show, Robin Givens stated that she felt her claim against Mike Tyson served as "ground zero" for the #MeToo movement. The moment she is referring to is her much-publicized domestic violence case against her ex-partner Mike Tyson.


Givens and Tyson were married from 1988 to 1989 but only eight months after they tied the knot, Givens filed for a divorce. The decision came after the boxer allegedly threatened to kill her during one of his violent outburst.

Robin Givens said, "I would like to believe I’m a better person for it—more compassionate, more loving."

On the show, she discussed the traumatizing relationship. She said she hopes by her choosing to speak out regardless of the reaction she received would give other victims strength and inspiration to do the same.


Williams noted that Givens was one of the first women in Hollywood to speak out against the abuse she was experiencing. To which Gavin responded saying, “Somebody told me what you said, somebody said, ‘You were like ground zero of #MeToo.I pray that anything I’ve gone through, however difficult it was for me, helped somebody else.”

Givens continued the conversation by explaining why she chose to stay despite everything she endured. A feat many other women in abusive relationships have opted to do as well.


“I think sometimes as people, women, perhaps men experience the same thing, you have a hard time sticking up for yourself, but it’s easier to stick up for people you love,” she said “I remember being at our house in New Jersey in a closet off the kitchen and we were all in the closet, four of us hiding (from Tyson) and I remember my sister bawling saying, ‘How long are you gonna put us all through this?'”

The Riverdale star said that moment with her sister eventually gave her the push to leave for good.

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