Boxer Tyson questioned over kidnap and assault of woman

MIKE Tyson has been questioned by Italian police after claims that he kidnapped and assaulted a woman when she refused to have sex with him, it was confirmed yesterday.

The former boxing world champion, 39, who served three years in prison for rape in the early 1990s, was questioned for several hours on board his chartered 40ft yacht after Florence Botoli, 33, made her allegations to police.

Ms Botoli told officers that she had been attacked by the boxer after she refused to have sex with him and was left with severe bruises.

Police questioned Tyson after he returned to his yacht Summer Wind after he had spent the night at a disco on the Italian island of Panarea, just off the coast of Sicily.

A police source said: "He was more than happy to talk to police and invited the officers on board, saying he was a 'good boy' and not a 'killer'."

Ms Botoli, who lives in Nice, France, claimed the alleged incident happened after she had been "grabbed" by Tyson when she was dancing at Billionaire's nightclub in Porto Cervo in Sardinia, a resort popular with the rich and famous.

News that he had been questioned by police came as further details of Ms Botoli's complaint were leaked - including allegations that Tyson took cocaine and attempted to force her to try the drug.

In her statement to police, she alleged: "There was a white powder on a tray; it was cocaine. Tyson took some, a lot, and then started hitting me.

"He tried to force my head down into the powder but I don't do drugs."

She added: "He said he wanted to have sex with me. But when I said 'no' and didn't take the drugs he want mad.

"He punched me and then threw me to the floor. It left me stunned.

"Tyson kept shouting at me until his bodyguard told him to calm down and stop because he was going over the top."

Yesterday a police spokesman in Porto Cervo said: "Colleagues have questioned Mike Tyson in Panarea about the allegations made against him by a 33-year-old woman.

"At this stage we cannot say anything else because an official file on the case has been opened by the investigating magistrate.

"She will read the file supplied to her by the police and decide if there is enough evidence for the case to continue."

It also emerged yesterday that Tyson had almost caused a tragedy after he invited several people back to his yacht, but the boat which took them there almost sank as it was too crowded.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington, a contestant in the Miss Black America beauty pageant in Indianapolis.

In 1997, he was disqualified during a bout with Evander Holyfield for biting off a chunk of his opponent's ear.

In 1999, he was sentenced to a year in jail for assault following a car crash in Maryland.

In August 2003, Tyson filed for bankruptcy in New York City, saying he had more than 16 million in debts and just 3,000 in assets.

Back to the top of the page