Friends of heavyweight champion Mike Tyson said he was encouraged by his estranged wife, Robin Givens, and her mother to take prescription drugs before a network television interview, making him appear docile and apathetic.
Camille Ewald, 83, who raised Tyson, said he appeared drugged during the Sept. 30 telecast of “20-20" with Barbara Walters.
“He just stared into space, without giving any reaction when the woman was disgracing him in front of the national public,” Ewald said. “He would have to have some reaction unless he was drugged.”
The New York Post quoted Tyson as saying he had taken the tranquilizer Thorazine and also lithium, commonly prescribed for manic-depression, before the show. He said Givens and her mother, Ruth Roper, gave the medicine to him through a friend.
“They wanted him to make sure I took it,” Tyson said. “But I didn’t want to take it and usually I didn’t. Now I am back to being my normal self, and everything is fine.”