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Mike Tyson Opens Up About his Sex Life in Documentary

CANNES, France – Mike Tyson considers it a miracle that he lived to tell his tale. And he’s telling it – in graphic detail – in a new documentary at the Cannes Film Festival.

“I lived a wild and extreme life,” the former heavyweight champion told reporters Saturday. “I used drugs. I had altercations with dangerous people. I slept with guys’ wives that wanted to kill me. I’m just happy to be here, you know. It’s just a miracle.”

The 41-year-old former boxer says he opened up because he fully trusted director James Toback (“Fingers”).

And he also had nothing better to do.

“I was in rehab anyway,” Tyson said. “I wasn’t going anywhere.”

Tyson got a prolonged ovation at the “Tyson” screening in Cannes, which he attended wearing a pinstriped suit with white pocket handkerchief. According to the London Times Web site, the documentary won standing ovations from critics and audiences.

Tyson said he was not embarrassed by his confessional – much of it about his sex life – though he was overwhelmed by Cannes.

“I feel vulnerable,” he said. “Because really to be honest with you, I don’t even know what I’m doing here. I had no idea this thing was going to make it to this grand scale here.”

Toback, who has known Tyson for 23 years and gave him small parts in “Black and White” and “When Will I Be Loved,” said he talked to Tyson in a soothing, hypnotic voice to get him to open up.

The movie blends in old video footage and TV interviews. But basically it’s Tyson telling his own life story in his trademark lisp – with many surprising moments.

Tyson talks about getting beaten up and stolen from when he was an overweight kid. The fighter chokes up repeatedly when reminiscing about his late trainer, Cus D’Amato, who transformed the troubled teenager into a world-class champion. D’Amato died just the year before a 20-year-old Tyson in 1986 became the youngest heavyweight champion when he knocked out Trevor Berbick. He lost his title four years later.

On-screen, Tyson spares no details in describing his sex life: He talks about his need to dominate women and about suffering from a painful bout of gonorrhea during one of the most important fights of his career.

He covers the career low points, like biting Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997. And he admits to many, many bad decisions.

“I’ve always been a harsh critic of myself,” he said.

On one issue, Tyson still refuses to take responsibility. Tyson insists he is innocent of the 1991 rape of an 18-year-old beauty queen for which he served three years in prison.

“I’ve been abusive to women before in my life,” he acknowledged. But in this case, “I thought (the conviction) was wrong, I thought it was unfair.”

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