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Mike Tyson 'Snatched Off Street' And Molested As Kid (Photos)

| by David Bonner

Boxing legend Mike Tyson has divulged further secrets about his childhood.

"I was molested as a child," he bluntly told sportswriter Jeremy Schapp in an interview that aired on the ESPN program "E:60," reports the Daily Mail.

At first, Tyson was cautious about revealing too much, saying that he would "like to keep that where it was in the past." Regarding his reluctance to speak about it, he added that it "was no one's business to know, people just don't talk about it because to some people they believe it's emasculating them."

But he went on to tell Schapp about being "snatched off the street" by an "old man" in Brooklyn when he was 7 years old.

He said the man "bullied" and "sexually abused" him before he eventually managed to run away. Tyson never saw the man again and never told anyone, including the police. In the ensuing decades, he kept silent about the incident, fearing he would be judged.

Eventually, however, he "learned that it doesn't make you any less of a man because it happened," he said. "It made me have to be tough for the world I lived in."

Tyson first went public about the molestation in a 2014 interview on SiriusXM's "Opie and Anthony" radio show, as reported by the New York Daily News at the time.

"Was it one time or ongoing?" co-host Jim Norton asked. To which Tyson replied: "No, one time. Never seen him again." He concluded by adding: "I'm not ashamed or embarrassed or anything from that perspective."

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, “The prevalence of child sexual abuse is difficult to determine because it is often not reported; experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities.”

A 2003 National Institute of Justice report cited by the organization said that children who live in "homes marked by parental discord, divorce, or domestic violence, have a higher risk of being sexually abused."

Those characteristics are reflected in Tyson's childhood, as described in his 2013 autobiography, "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth."

Born in Brooklyn in 1966, he never knew his father, and when he was 7 years old -- the age of his molestation -- his mother lost her job and the family was evicted. At that young age Tyson turned to a life of petty theft, and would regularly receive beatings by his mother as punishment for his crime sprees.

He described being a "zonked out zombie" on Thorazine by the time he was 12, and attending a "special-ed crazy school."

Could the molestation incident been a factor in him becoming a boxer?
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