Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington, became a popular name in the print media back in the year 1991 when she accused the world heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, of raping her. The latter recently opened up about the incident in the ABC’s Mike Tyson: Knockout Documentary and her name has been in news ever since.
Who was Desiree Washington and What Happened with Her?
Washington represented her native state, Rhode Island, in the Miss Black America Pageant took place in 1991. According to her, Tyson invited her into his room at the Canterbury Hotel where she was raped and assaulted on the 19th of July, 1991. She later checked into the emergency room of the hospital and told the physician about her rape.
The whole incident was reported by several reputed newspapers. Los Angeles Times highlighted that the former model punched the heavyweight champion and tried to defend herself, but in vain. Tyson’s chauffeur, Virginia Foster, corroborated her testimony and revealed how Washington was in a state of utmost shock after the unfortunate incident.
She was examined by the physician for over 24 hours after the incident, who later confirmed that the physical condition of her genitals was consistent with rape.
Tyson, however, denied all the charges and backed himself by saying that everything was done with Washington’s full consent. Hence the incident, in no way, can be termed as rape. The court found him guilty, and he was sentenced to imprisonment for six years. He was fortunate to serve less than three years of the sentence and was placed on parole in the context of good behavior.
Over two decades have been passed since the incident took place. However, Tyson still denies all the claims made by the model.
Where is Desiree Washington at Present?
The incident brought her under a lot of limelight. To pen down her words, the whole episode affected her mental health and put herself and her family under intense trauma. After this, the former model gave a cold shoulder to the limelight, and today she seems to be enjoying her low-key life.
The incident made her a scapegoat as she received backlash from a lot of people, including Tyson’s fans as well as the media. Following this, Washington decided to appear in an interview with Barbara Walter in the year 1992. During the interview, she spoke her heart out and revealed how the incident changed her completely and how she turned from being a jovial outgoing female to someone who would sit inside her room all day. What caught a lot of attention during the interview was when she revealed how she was offered $1 million to take back the case.
Quick Facts about Desiree Washington
- The whole event and court case not only took a toll on Washington’s life but on her parents’ life as well. Consequently, her parents divorced. Even her siblings had to go through times in their school.
- Before the incident took place, she aimed to become either a politician or an attorney.
- As of 2021, the total net worth of Washington is claimed at $650,000
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