The Comeback Kid: Mike Tyson Takes His Show on the Road

By Sheryl Flatow
11 Mar 2013

Mike Tyson

Although Tyson went to jail for rape, he has always maintained his innocence.

There is very little in the play about his exploits in the boxing ring, but he does talk extensively about the man who made his career, his mentor Constantine "Cus" D'Amato. "He wanted people to understand why he believed he was the baddest man on the planet," says Kiki. "Cus brainwashed Mike, in a sense, and made him believe he was the greatest. Mike would have done anything for Cus. You want to believe you're worth something, especially when everyone's telling you you're worthless."

Kiki and Mike were married in 2009, after six years of a tempestuous on-again, off-again relationship. They have two children together; Mike has six additional children, including his late daughter, Exodus. He has been clean for more than three years, and Kiki says that many credit her for the change, but she says otherwise. "I give Mike all the credit. You can't change anyone. You can be an influence for change, but people only change when they're ready. And Mike was ready. He was tired of living the kind of life he'd been living, and he knew that if he didn't make a change, he'd be dead. He didn't want that to be his legacy — a guy that was once great but never amounted to anything. It was a struggle, but he did it. And I'm so proud of him."

Read Playbill.com's August 2012 coverage of the Broadway opening night of Undisputed Truth.

(This feature appear in the March 2013 subscription issue of Playbill. Want to subscribe?)

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