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Tyson's finances down for the count

Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2003

NEW YORK Mike Tyson has filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, claiming his finances are in disarray.

The former heavyweight champion has squandered nearly $300 million in ring earnings through lavish spending and bad advice. Tyson's handlers said in a news release on Friday that Tyson has taken control of himself and wants to resolve his financial problems.

They blamed his out-of-control spending habits and subsequent mounting debt on mismanagement by others.

''As a professional fighter, who relied on others to manage his affairs, he discovered that his debts far exceeded his assets,'' Tyson's attorney Debra Grassgreen said. ''Now, he has taken the lead in bringing order to his financial affairs.''

The fighter frittered away millions on mansions, Bentleys, jewelry, and even Bengal tigers while buying extravagant gifts for his entourage. Don King also took a huge chunk.

Tyson has a $100 million lawsuit pending against King that goes to trial in September. The suit claims King cheated Tyson out of millions after he got out of prison in 1995 and went back to fighting for the promoter.

Earlier this year, as part of a divorce settlement, Tyson agreed to pay his ex-wife, Monica, $6.5 million from future earnings.

Besides his financial problems, Tyson is also facing possible jail time again.

He pleaded innocent last month to misdemeanor assault, harassment and disorderly conduct charges for pummeling two men during a brawl at a Brooklyn hotel on June 21. Tyson's lawyers claimed his actions were justified because the two men allegedly menaced the boxer first by telling him they were armed. Prosecutors say the assault went too far. Tyson, who served three years in prison for rape in the 1990s, faces up to a year if convicted of the latest charges.



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