A couple of months ago, Robin Givens, in interviews with both Andy Cohen and Bevy Smith, spoke about her trepidation about being featured in the upcoming Mike Tyson biopic, starring Jamie Foxx as the lead.
The actress married Tyson in 1988. But their relationship was marred with scandal after she accused him of domestic violence, both before and after they were wed.
In the late eighties, early nineties, the public sentiment toward Givens was not favorable. She was accused of being a gold digger and even lying about the abuse she’d experienced at his hands. Tyson echoed those sentiments, claiming that Givens stole millions from him and attempted to tarnish his image in the public eye.
So as you can imagine, she didn’t have confidence in the way she would be portrayed in his life story. She shared that she hoped Tyson didn’t paint himself, the victimizer, as the victim.
She told Bevy Smith, “And I think the #MeToo movement—this is a different climate. Men can’t brag about hitting women any longer and call them names or where the victimizer becomes the victim. And I hope the movie reflects that. We don’t let the victimizer get away with now being coming the victim.”
Later, she told Cohen that she hopes not to be included in the film at all.
“I had a good friend of mine went and got the book that he wrote. I was reading it and there were so many things that are so not true that it’s hard not to feel deeply disturbed by it. So, in a way I hope I’m stronger because of this but it’s a little upsetting…That’s going to be a tough one for me…to hear someone say, ‘The best punch I ever threw was against Robin and she bounced from one wall to the next and was out.’ I’m literally praying that we’re in a climate where that’s not acceptable.”
And now, she’s filed legal documents to make sure her wishes are honored.
According to Page Six, Givens’ lawyers sent both Tyson and Foxx a cease-and-desist letter last month, which “demanded that Mr. Tyson cease and desist from further defaming Ms. Givens, and to put those producing, writing and/or directing the proposed Tyson biopic, and those producing Mr. Tyson’s podcast, on notice that they are to refrain from portraying Ms. Givens in a false, negative and defamatory light.”
Givens’ lawyers claimed that she was “heartbroken” to have to send the letter. But they claimed, “While [she] has attempted to move on, she still finds herself fighting the abusive demeaning and false accounts of their relationship by Mr. Tyson nearly 35 years later. It is time for Mr. Tyson to let this marriage be the relic of the past that it is.”
In interviews, Givens has said that not only has Tyson made light of the abuse he inflicted on her, he also accused her of cheating on him with Brad Pitt, before they had divorced. Givens denied the allegation.
A representative for Tyson claimed that Ms. Givens will not be a part of the story told in the film at all.
“As of now, Mr. Tyson’s attorneys have not received any cease and desist, but there isn’t nor has there been any intention of including his relationship with her in his biopic. He wishes her well in all her endeavors,” the rep said.