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2018 BET Awards - Arrivals

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In a recent appearance on Vivica Fox’s podcast, “Hustling With Vivica A. Fox,” Claudia Jordan addressed her involvement in the 1991 rape trial against heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson.

Jordan was friends with the victim, 18-year-old Desiree Washington. Washington, who held the title Miss Black Rhode Island, at the time,  Washington was in Indianapolis competing for the Miss Black America pageant when she confided in Jordan that she was thinking of leaving because she felt “ugly.” Jordan managed to convince her to stay. Sadly, the rape occurred the following day.

“I talked her into staying, the next day she went out and she got raped,” Jordan told Fox during the interview. “I felt very bad about that for a very long time.”

Jordan learned of the assault while driving to Indianapolis with Washington’s family to surprise her at the pageant.

“As soon as she got on the phone, she was like, ‘I went out with Mike Tyson last night and he raped me,'” Jordan recalled. “I put mom on the phone, she’s hysterical. Her father cries, his heart is broken. “It was so sad. I had to be the sensible one, I got on the phone, like, ‘Okay, have you taken a shower? We gotta come pick you up.’ We picked her up, we took her to the hospital and I could tell, as soon as I saw her, that she was broken.”

The former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star would go on to accompany Washington to the hospital where a sexual assault forensic exam was conducted.

“I took her, I held her hand while she was having her vaginal examination. They said there was evidence,” she added.

At the trial, Jordan was called as a witness for the defense, whom she recalls was “grasping at straws” in attempts to discredit her friend.

“It was horrible for me. [Tyson] was like 10 feet away, he was mad,”  said Jordan, who recalls the athlete punching his hands as he watched her testify. “I think he thought I was called by the defense like all the other paid off witnesses that came to the trial in new clothes and fresh from a trip from Jamaica. But when I got on the stand, I’m a hostile witness for their side.”

Jordan went on:

“You hate to see a Black man who came from nothing be … I can’t even say taken down, he took himself down. There’s evidence, he got on the stand and he said, ‘I know I did something wrong but I didn’t break no bones, so what’s the big deal.'”

As for Washington, Jordan pointed out that her life was ruined as a result of the assault and trial, adding that she never attempted to profit off of the incident by writing a book or coming out with a documentary.

“I think she should do one. Her whole family fell apart after this,” said Jordan. “So much stuff happened. She had to change her name and move, cut her hair, she changed how she looks so no one would f-ck with her. Her life was ruined, her life was ruined in one night.”

Tyson denied all allegations of rape, but was found guilty and sentenced to six years at the Indiana Youth Center. He was released on parole after serving three.

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