With heavyweight champion Mike Tyson sitting quietly at her side, actress Robin Givens said she was "very, very afraid" of her husband because of his "extremely volatile temper."
"I've become afraid," Givens said in a television interview with Barbara Walters. It will be aired Friday night on the ABC program "20-20."Walters asked Givens about newspaper reports that Tyson hits her. Givens said, "He shakes. He pushes. He swings. There were times when I thought I could handle it, you know, and just very recently I've become afraid. I mean very, very afraid."
Givens also spoke about the couple's recent trip to Russia, where they were accompanied by Givens' mother, Ruth Roper. There have been newspaper reports that Tyson had several violent episodes and once, in a rage, had chased Givens and Roper through their hotel.
Tyson, sitting next to his wife on a couch in their Bernardsville, N.J., home, seemed reluctant to talk about his illness. In his soft voice, he said, "This is a situation in which I'm dealing with my illness. And like, basically, this is my wife, and we're dealing with it."
Tyson's manager, Bill Cayton, also was interviewed by Walters and said he did not believe Tyson was a manic-depressive. "But if he is a manic-depressive," Cayton said, "and he is put on lithium (medication often prescribed to treat the condition), as far as I'm concerned he'll never box again . . . It is not proper for him to box if he's on a mind-altering drug."