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Desiree Washington Once Became Miss Black Rhode Island: What Facts to Know About Her

Akhona Zungu
Aug 21, 2022
05:20 A.M.
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Desiree Washington's name sparked interest again after ABC's "Mike Tyson: Knockout Documentary" aired. Learn more about the beautiful former Miss Black Rhode Island.

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Desire Washington's name became forever tied to Mike Tyson's after publically accusing him of sexual assault in 1991. Tyson adamantly denied those allegations through to the end of the trial and was convicted and sentenced to six years of imprisonment.

Although Mike Tyson's career continued to flourish after serving some part of his sentence, Desiree disappeared from the spotlight. What happened to Desiree, and where is she now?

 Mike Tyson arriving at the Marion County Courthouse in February 1992. | Source: Getty Images

Mike Tyson arriving at the Marion County Courthouse in February 1992. | Source: Getty Images

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FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT DESIREE WASHINGTON

According to Heavy, Desiree Washington lived an affluent lifestyle with her family in Rhode Island, living in a "ranch-style" house with a swimming pool. Being 18 at the commencement of her trial, she may have drawn her first breath in 1973, welcomed by her parents, Donald and Mary Belle Silva Washington.

Donald and Mary also had two other children, Desiree's older brother Don Jr and a younger sister Dorrae, who joined their family via adoption in 1984.

Mike Tyson attending a church service held in support of the boxer as he stood trial for the rape Desiree Washington | Source: Getty Images

Mike Tyson attending a church service held in support of the boxer as he stood trial for the rape Desiree Washington | Source: Getty Images

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It was also reported that Washington went to Coventry High School. The students at her school knew her well and voted that she was the "friendliest and most talkative." In her yearbook, the Miss Black Rhode Island winner jokingly pledged:

"To my sis, all of my homework."

WASHINGTON'S PARENTS SPLIT

The Los Angeles Times kept up with the happenings in the Washington family. Amidst Mike Tyson's premature release from prison, the backlash that Desiree received from the public for coming out with allegations out against a "public hero" put a strain on her parents' marriage.

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Mike Tyson, Don King, and Mohammed Ali, all clasping hands wearing tuxedos in the boxing ring at the Las Vegas Hilton | Source: Getty Images

Mike Tyson, Don King, and Mohammed Ali, all clasping hands wearing tuxedos in the boxing ring at the Las Vegas Hilton | Source: Getty Images

They eventually fell apart and filed for divorce, marking "irreconcilable differences as the reason for their separation. They also sold their house. However, Distractify wrote that Desiree stayed with her mother on Rhode Island while pursuing a psychology degree.

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DESIREE WASHINGTON NOW

Prior to her sexual assault case, Desiree was expected to become the next best thing, with the potential to pursue a law or politics career or become the first Black female president. However, it seems those opportunities were thwarted after the case ended.

Her last public appearance was in a 1992 interview with Barbara Walters, where the former beauty queen opened up about how the case changed her as a person.

Mike Tyson arriving at the Marion County Courthouse where he was on trial for the rape of Desiree Washington | Source: Getty Images

Mike Tyson arriving at the Marion County Courthouse where he was on trial for the rape of Desiree Washington | Source: Getty Images

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Washington lamented about she went from being a person who enjoyed spending time out to a woman who only found solace in solitude. The former beauty queen couldn't fathom how drastically her personality changed. She recalled how she would spend entire days in her room, cemented to her bed.

She found herself unable to conjure the will even to move around and was secluded from the world she once enjoyed being a part of. Washington won the Miss Black Rhode Island in 1991, where Tyson happened to be in attendance.

She was 18 years old and was a college student at the time. According to Republic.com, only a day after her victory, Washington was checked into the emergency room at the Methodist hospital, and news of her sexual ordeal broke out.

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Mike Tyson attending the 15th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party Benefiting Children Uniting Nations in Beverly Hills | Source: Getty Images

Mike Tyson attending the 15th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party Benefiting Children Uniting Nations in Beverly Hills | Source: Getty Images

In her claims, she stated that after meeting her, Mike Tyson called her into his hotel room. Washington cried during the trial and said Tyson laughed at her during those times. In an effort to protect Tyson's career, Washington claimed that she was offered $1 million to withdraw the allegations.

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During her interview with Barbara Walters, she spoke out against the opinions people had formed about her in the 1990s when she went up against a man who was considered the "public hero."

Washington did not appreciate how people had already made up their minds about her and the motives behind her decisions. She pointed out how the intersectionality of Blackness and gender inequality were at play and to her name's demise.

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