The champion boxer’s lawyer is calling it “a shakedown.”
The man who Mike Tyson beat up on a plane last year is now demanding he pays nearly half a million dollars.
However, the retired professional boxer’s attorney, Alex Spiro, insists that the lawsuit “is a shakedown” attempt. He’s also pretty sure the “victim” getting paid is as likely as a pig flying across the Atlantic.
Melvin Townsend, the victim, and his lawyer made their demands clear in a pre-litigation letter that was sent to Spiro sometime early this week, according to the New York Post.
In the letter, Jake Jondle, Townsend’s lawyer, claims that Tyson could have used other tactics to diffuse the situation on the JetBlue flight back in April 2022. Instead, Tyson “chose physical violence” and “viciously assaulted” Townsend.
As a result of the attack, Jondle states that his client sustained “severe headaches,” neck pain, and “”is still suffering with the effects of the assault to this day.”
The document declares that $450,000 from the professional boxer would help Townsend pay for his legal bills and future treatments.
Mike Tyson’s lawyer is simply having none of it.
“I have received a shakedown letter related to some instigator’s harassment of Mike a year ago and the aftermath,” he said in a statement. “There will be no shakedown payment.”
Representatives for Tyson told TMZ Sports that things escalated between the two on the flight after Townsend threw a water bottle at Tyson and annoyed him after being told to stop repeatedly.
On an episode of Tyson’s Hotboxin podcast, Tyson stated that Townsend, “was f***ing with me” before things took a dramatic turn.
Townsend’s lawyer, on the other hand, claims that he was “excited to see [Tyson] on the flight, began discussing the marijuana industry and psychedelic mushrooms with him, and Mr. Tyson became annoyed” and lashed out.
Earlier this afternoon, TMZ provided an update stating that Jondle told TMZ Sports that Townsend has suffered a concussion, cervical radiculopathy, and impaired vision.
“Not only is the evidence clear that Mr. Tyson committed the intentional torts of assault and battery, but he also acted recklessly and negligently,” Jondle said in a statement sent to the outlet.
“Additionally, Mr. Tyson admitted on national television to attacking Mr. Townsend and never once claimed a legal justification for his actions, such as self-defense. He admitted he should not have attacked Mr. Townsend. Being irritated by a fan is not a legal defense to any of Mr. Townsend’s claims.”
Townsend’s lawyer added that his letter this week to Spiro was as an attempt to “engage in good-faith settlement discussions to attempt to resolve this claim prior to filing a lawsuit.”
Do you think Mike Tyson took things too far?