Tyson: "My Mother Fed Me Liquor and Drugs"

By Bryan Le 05/16/12

The former heavyweight champ shares his theories about the roots of his bad behavior.

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Mike Tyson is three years clean. Photo via

At the height of his decline, Mike Tyson was a maniac."I would drink $3,000 bottles of Louis XVIII brandy all day long and take an eight-ball of cocaine a night," he says. "To me the women were nothing," he says. "Not even human beings—not at that stage in my life." He took chartered jets for day trips to England, Paris and Switzerland; by 2003, he had nothing left of his $300 million and went bankrupt. The former heavyweight champ claims that, among other things, his childhood led him down this path. His parents were drug addicts (and Tyson's father left when he was two), and he says he had his first taste of liquor before his first birthday: "My mother would feed me liquor and drugs to get me to sleep." And some might be surprised to discover Tyson was bullied in school: "I was a fat kid with acne all over my face, so I got the shit kicked out of me." When he fought back, he quickly became enamored with the feeling of throwing a punch. "It felt really good—so good that I couldn't wait until the next day so that I could do it again. People wouldn't do it if it didn't feel so good." But nowadays Tyson is living a new life telling his life story—The Undisputed Truth—to hundreds of people on stage in Vegas, which he claims is "therapeutic." Would he ever go back to the boxing life? "Oh, that's over. You could offer me a billion dollars and I'd still say no. I have to be the best at something, otherwise I won't do it. I'm too vain to be humiliated."

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter

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