Floyd Mayweather Facing $20 Million Lawsuit Over Claims His Ex-Girlfriend Used Drugs

By McCarton Ackerman 05/06/15

Josie Harris wants restitution for an alleged 2010 domestic violence incident that occurred in front of their children.

Floyd Mayweather

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather earned a reported $180 million for defending his title last weekend against Manny Pacquiao, but could lose a substantial sum of that after his ex-girlfriend filed a defamation lawsuit over his claims that she abused drugs.

Josie Harris, who has three children with Mayweather, filed her civil complaint on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. She is seeking $20 million in damages.

Harris previously alleged that Mayweather beat her in front of two of their children during a 2010 altercation. Although he pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges and served two months behind bars in 2012, he vehemently denied hitting her and claimed that she used drugs during their relationship.

“Did I kick, stomp and beat someone? No, that didn’t happen. Did I restrain a woman that was on drugs? Yes, I did,” he told Katie Couric during a televised interview two weeks ago. “If they say that’s domestic violence, then you know what? I’m guilty. I’m guilty of restraining someone.”

Harris’ lawyer, Dan Friedlander, wrote in the lawsuit that Mayweather “knowingly fabricated” drug stories about her “in order to hype Mayweather’s upcoming fight ... [and] avoid bad press by deflecting responsibility for beating the mother of his children.” A representative for Mayweather declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Team Mayweather generated plenty of controversy leading up to the fight after he rejected a drug clause proposed last March by Pacquiao, which would result in either fighter being fined $5 million for failing a drug test. Both men eventually agreed to undergo random testing for performance-enhancing drugs, but there was no financial penalty put in place.

The boxing champion’s refusal to accept the fine was surprising since he has insisted that Olympic-style drug testing be used before all of his fights. A potential fight was also scrapped in 2009 after Pacquiao refused to use Mayweather’s preferred method of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, opting instead to use the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.

Some boxing experts suggested that Mayweather’s refusal to accept a financial penalty was part of a strategy to place concerns in Pacquiao’s mind before the fight that he might be facing an opponent who wasn’t clean.

After beating Pacquiao in a much-hyped match this past Saturday, Mayweather stated that he will fight one more time in September before retiring from the sport.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.