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Boxing icon hit with sex abuse claims

George Foreman has been accused of sexual abuse by two women

Former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman, 73, has been accused of the sexual abuse of two women in the 1970s, according to lawsuits filed in the United States. 

According to the women, they met Foreman while they were children after their fathers – who were involved in boxing – became associates of the world champion fighter who is best known for his iconic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ match with Muhammad Ali in 1974. 

One of the lawsuits claims that Foreman began grooming her when she was just eight years old before he allegedly sexually assaulted her when she was 15. The second lawsuit states that the woman was raped by Foreman when she was 15 and 16 years old.

Among the claims in one of the lawsuits is that Foreman told the then-child that her father would lose his job if she went public with her accusations at the time.

Foreman has strenuously denied the allegations, and wrote in a July statement when the accusations were first made that he is the victim of an extortion campaign.

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Foreman is among his sport's biggest icons. © Martin Rose / Bongarts / Getty Images
Boxing great ‘blackmailed’ by sex abuse accusers

“Over the past six months, two women have been trying to extort millions of dollars each from me and my family. They are falsely claiming that I sexually abused them over 45 years ago in the 1970s,” he wrote.

“I adamantly and categorically deny these allegations. The pride I take in my reputation means as much to me as my sports accomplishments, and I will not be intimidated by baseless threats and lies.

“I don’t pick fights, but I don’t run away from them either.”

The women, who are now aged in their sixties, are seeking damages from the ex-boxer, who has also gained prominence in his career for the range of countertop grills which bear his name. 

It was estimated at one point that he was earning $4.5 million per month at the heights of the grill’s global popularity. 

News of the dual lawsuits comes after a 2020 law was implemented in California which lifted the statute of limitations which had previously restricted people from coming forward with civil lawsuits related to historical sexual abuse allegations.

Foreman is considered to be among the greatest heavyweight boxers in history. He won an Olympic gold medal in 1968 before claiming his first legitimate world title when he knocked out the previously unbeaten Joe Frazier in the second round of their 1973 fight.

He would lose the belts to Ali around a year-and-a-half later, however he reclaimed the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles more than twenty years later when he defeated Michael Moorer at the age of 45.

Foreman retired from professional boxing in 1997 following defeat to Shannon Briggs close to his 49th birthday, which left his career record at 76-5. 

https://ift.tt/e8CHUgX 26, 2022 at 09:16PM
from RT – Daily news

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