Few people can say they identify with what Chris Brown might be feeling in the wake of his alleged altercation with Rihanna, but [url id=”http://www.mtv.com/movies/person/6365/personmain.jhtml”]Mike Tyson[/url] is one of them.
The former heavyweight champ — whose life is the subject of the new documentary [url id=”http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/347767/moviemain.jhtml”]”Tyson,”[/url] set for release on Friday — has a history of legal trouble involving women. While he was married to actress Robin Givens in the late 1980s, their relationship was plagued with accusations of violence and spousal abuse against Tyson. And in the early ’90s, Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington and served three years in prison.
When asked about Brown by MTV News this week, Tyson said, “It’s none of my business, but you know what I say about that? I understand the situation. I understand passion with young kids.
“My personal opinion about that is, he’s just a baby,” he continued, with a tone of empathy toward the 19-year-old Brown. “He’s just a little baby that don’t know how to handle his emotions when it comes to a woman. And he probably hears this and thinks, ’I know how to handle my emotions'; we all think we do. But the fact [is], you look at this person and you might be crazy in love, but we don’t know how to handle those feelings.”
While there are obviously many differences between his situation and Brown’s, Tyson said he believes a different mentality is prevalent these days. “Now you’re a fly guy and a cool guy, you have this pimp mentality. You have to be hard like that.”
Tyson was also extremely contrite about his history of violence toward women. “You can’t abuse them,” he said. “It’s really sick what you [can] do. She has a space in your heart and you believe you care about her more than anybody in the world.
“Do I think it’s right to beat up a woman? No — hell no,” he continued. “Have I hit a woman before? Hell yeah. Was I wrong? Hell yeah. I’m a product of that environment. Do I regret ever doing that? Hell yeah. Would I do it again? Never.”