Boxing icon accused of sex abuse
George Foreman has been accused of sexual abuse by two women
Former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman, 73, has been accused of sexually abusing two women in the 1970s, according to lawsuits filed in the United States.
According to the women, they met Foreman as children after their fathers – who were involved in boxing – became partners with the world champion fighter who is best known for his iconic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ match with Muhammad Ali in 1974.
One of the lawsuits claims Foreman began treating her when she was just eight years old before he sexually assaulted her when she was 15. The second lawsuit says the woman was raped by Foreman when she was 15 and 16 years old.
Among the allegations in one of the lawsuits, Foreman told the then-child that her father would lose his job if she went public with her accusations at the time.
Foreman has strenuously denied the allegations and wrote in a July statement when the charges were first brought that he was the victim of an extortion campaign.
« Over the past six months, two women have tried to extort millions of dollars each from me and my family. They falsely claim that I sexually abused them over 45 years ago in the 1970s, » he wrote.
“I categorically and categorically deny these allegations. Pride in my reputation is as important to me as my sporting achievements, and I will not be intimidated by baseless threats and lies..
« I don’t choose fights, but I don’t run away from them either..”
The women, who are now in their 60s, are seeking damages from the ex-boxer, who also rose to prominence in his career for the range of countertop grills that bear his name.
It was estimated at one point that he was earning $4.5 million a month at the height of the grill’s worldwide popularity.
The news of the double lawsuits comes after the implementation of a 2020 law in California that lifted the statute of limitations that had previously prevented people from bringing civil lawsuits related to historical sexual abuse allegations.
Foreman is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers in history. He won an Olympic gold medal in 1968 before claiming his first legitimate world title by knocking out previously undefeated Joe Frazier in the second round of their 1973 fight.
He would lose the belts to Ali about a year and a half later, but reclaimed the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles over twenty years later when he beat Michael Moorer at the age of 45.
Foreman retired from professional boxing in 1997 following his loss to Shannon Briggs near his 49th birthday which left his career record at 76-5.