Photo: AP/World Wide Photos
A few years after losing his mentor, Mike fell for actress Robin Givens. After a highly publicized courtship, they got married in February 1988.
Soon after they said, "I do," rumors about Mike's violent nature and infidelity began to swirl around the couple. It all came to a head when the pair agreed to sit down with Barbara Walters for an unforgettable interview. During the interview, Robin said Mike was manic-depressive and, at times, abusive.
At the time, Mike sat at his wife's side, not saying a word. Now, he's ready to talk.
"I couldn't believe Robin Givens was saying those lies about me. ... I was flabbergasted," he says. "When I look back at it now, I can't believe I sat there and didn't say anything. But then again, if I were to act crazy and start smashing and going crazy in front of television, that's what they would have wanted."
Robin's accusations made Mike furious. "At that particular moment, I truly wanted to sock her, but I just didn't do it. I was young at that time," he says. "I have socked her before, and she socked me before, as well. It was just that kind of relationship."
"You are a very big guy, so it would be hard for some woman to stand up against you physically," Oprah says. "Is there ever an instance where a woman deserves to be struck?"
"I don't know. ... Women do kill people and hurt people too," he says. "I just know we're both human beings. ... And we have to treat this human being a certain way just from a physical perspective. When I was in this marriage, I was wide open like a puppy dog. She could have done anything. I would have said: 'Okay. I love you still.'"