George Foreman’s story has been regarded as one of the greatest in all of sports. A powerful, surly, thunderous punching heavyweight boxer, Foreman wiped out Joe Frazier on his way to wining the heavyweight champion in 1973. Less than 2 years later, he was bested by underdog Mohammad Ali in the famous “Rumble in the Jungle.” After that, the fighter known as “Big George” went through a protracted dark spell that ended when Foreman had a religious experience after losing to Jimmy Young in 1977. Foreman returned to the ring 10 years later, happier and heavier, to try to regain the heavyweight title. People laughed, but weren’t laughing when, in 1994, Foreman actually accomplished his goal, knocking out Michael Moore to regain the heavyweight crown he had lost 20 years earlier.
Since that time, Foreman has become the name behind a famous and insanely lucrative line of grills. He’s also been a spokesperson for numerous other products and even had his own short lived sitcom. This week, however, fans of the 73 year old Foreman have been rocked by allegations that he sexually assaulted two then underaged girls in the 1970’s – accusations which the former two time titlist adamantly denies. “Two women filed lawsuits Wednesday in California,” the New York Times stated, “alleging that George Foreman, the former world heavyweight boxing champion, sexually abused them when they were teenagers in California in the 1970s.”
According to the Times, Foreman addressed the allegations back in July, stating that “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. I adamantly and categorically deny these allegations.” The unnamed accusers, whose fathers worked with or for Foreman, argue that Foreman played the role of groomer for quite some time before having sex with them against their wills, going so far as to threaten to fire one of the victim’s fathers in order to keep things quiet. The complaint was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday.
“I will work with my lawyers to fully and truthfully expose my accusers’ scheme,” Foreman claimed in his July statement, “and defend myself in court. I don’t pick fights, but I don’t run away from them either.”