LOS ANGELES - Two women who said they were sexually abused by boxing champion George Foreman spoke out and shared their stories during a press conference Tuesday.
Gwen H and Denise S, both pseudonyms, filed lawsuits earlier this year accusing Foreman of sexually abusing them in the 1970s.
"He asked me to remove my clothes and if I didn't then my father would be fired, so I complied," stated Gwen H.
Gwen H said in her lawsuit that she first met the ex-boxing champ at 9-years-old and accused him of sexually abusing and raping her when she was 15 and 16 years old.
Both women said they met Foreman through their fathers, who were boxing associates of the former champ.
Denise S says she met Foreman when she was a young teenager, her dad had trained Foreman and she grew up in the boxing community.
During the press conference, she said Foreman sexually abused her at the age of 15. She told reporters about the different times she slept with Foreman. In one incident, she said after having oral sex with Foreman, he told her to take off her clothes and lay down. She said she felt nervous and was shaking as he laid on top of her and had sexual intercourse. She then said Foreman told her to take a shower then told her he "didn't put it in all the way". She told reporters at the press conference that at the time of this incident, she didn't know what Foreman was referring to.
"As I grew older that experience with Foreman began to weigh heavily on me. I started to hate myself and I felt dirty and shameful. Distrusted men because I felt that that’s all they want and it turned out to be true," Denise stated.
"I remember being in high school and a boy I liked asked me who I use to go out with before, and I told him I used to go out with George Foreman. And I remember him telling me ‘yeah that’s not true because if it was true that would be sick, he’s a grown man and you’re too young’. So I don't know if he believed me or not. And I never mentioned it to anyone again," she said.
She said that was the first time she knew something was wrong and never told anyone about Foreman.
"I felt dirty and felt like I did something wrong."
Her experience with Foreman changed her life. She said sex never felt good, she never had meaningful relationships and never attached herself to anyone. She then turned to drugs to numb her pain.
"Foreman altered my entire life when he came, when he abused me at the age of 15. He changed the entire trajectory of my life and changed me as a person. He not only stole my youth and innocence but also my belief in others... particularly in men," Denise added.
Foreman's attorney says the claims are false. The boxer says the women are trying to extort millions from him. A new California law waves the statute of limitations on childhood abuse civil lawsuits.