Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Mike Tyson's daughter dies after treadmill hanging horror

Exodus Tyson
Exodus Tyson
Mike Tyson

The four-year-old daughter of former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has died, a day after what police in Arizona called a "tragic accident" in her home.





Phoenix police spokesman Andy Hill said Exodus Tyson was pronounced dead in a hospital just before noon yesterday, local time.

Police say the girl was playing on a treadmill on Monday in her Phoenix home when her head apparently slipped inside a cord hanging under the console.

Exodus' seven-year-old brother found her and alerted his mother.

Police and firefighters tried to resuscitate Exodus on the way to hospital.

Tyson was in Las Vegas at the time of the accident and flew to Phoenix on Monday.

Police said Exodus either slipped or put her head in the loop of the cord.

Her mother freed her from the cord, called the emergency services and tried to revive her.

Tyson was seen entering the hospital after arriving in Phoenix.

His spokeswoman Cynthia Schwartz said the family had not yet arranged a funeral and would release a statement later.

"There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus," the Tyson family said in a statement.

"We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal."

The family's home is in a modest, quiet neighbourhood. Residents said they saw Tyson there from time to time and the children played outside regularly.

Dinka Radic said the little girl would ask her if she had any chocolate in the house. When she would get some and give it to her, Exodus would hug the woman's knees and "kiss, kiss, kiss".

The neighbourhood contrasts starkly with the lavish lifestyle Tyson had through his tumultuous years of boxing, when he spent tens of millions of dollars and says he had millions more stolen from him by unscrupulous associates.

During two years at the height of his career, he earned 140 million dollars (£88m).

The death of his child in such an unusual accident adds an awful chapter to the boxer's troubled life.

Tyson first began boxing at a centre for juvenile delinquents in upstate New York at the age of 12. Eight years later he became the youngest heavyweight champion when he knocked out Trevor Berbick in 1986.

But in 1990, he was defeated by James "Buster" Douglas in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history and soon after was convicted of raping a beauty pageant contestant in Indianapolis.

Tyson, who still denies he raped the woman, served three years in prison.

A few years later, he served three months in jail for beating up two men after a minor car crash in suburban Washington.

As his career continued, so did his bizarre behaviour. He bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear during a boxing match and once threatened to eat the children of heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Although Tyson's children had lived in their unassuming neighbourhood for several years, he bought a separate home in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley in 2005 for £1.3 million, selling it two years later for £1.45 million.

In November 2007, Tyson spent 24 hours in Maricopa County's "Tent City" jail after pleading guilty to cocaine possession and drink driving. Police found the drug when they stopped Tyson's car after he left a Scottsdale nightclub.

At Tyson's sentencing hearing, nearly a year after the arrest, his lawyer David Chesnoff said his client had taken 29 drug tests without a relapse and was attending Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Tyson had become an example of how one overcomes problems with drugs, a violent past and poor upbringing, Mr Chesnoff said.

"He's tried his hardest," he said, "despite coming from almost impossible beginnings."

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