At age 54, Mike Tyson has had a long, headline-grabbing career. He still holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title and has the sixth-longest unified championship reign in heavyweight boxing history. He’s also known for his lack of impulse control, having famously bitten the ears of opponent Evander Holyfield in a 1997 boxing match.
Outside of the boxing ring, Iron Mike faced a rape trial, prison time, drug addiction, and two failed marriages. Fortunately, his current marriage to Lakiha Spicer is still going strong. Here’s what you need to know about Mike Tyson’s wife and why their relationship works.
Mike Tyson’s Wife Is Lakiha Spicer
Nicknamed Kiki, Lakiha Spicer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1977. She grew up in a Muslim family alongside her older brother, Azheem Spicer. Her father, Shamsud-din Ali, spent a number of years in prison in the 1970s for a murder conviction. He returned to prison in 2004 after he and his wife were convicted of racketeering.
Lakiha Spicer also had a serious run-in with the law. In 2008, she was sentenced to six months in prison for a fraud charge connected to her father’s misdeeds. In fact, she was pregnant with Tyson’s child while she was incarcerated. “We were both destitute,” she said of herself and Tyson during that time in a 2012 interview with the New York Post.
Mike Tyson And Lakiha Spicer Have Been Married Since 2009
Spicer met Tyson for the first time at one of his boxing matches when she was just 18 years old. Her father knew the legendary boxing promoter Don King, so they frequently attended matches. But they didn’t start dating until she was 23. They had an on-again, off-again relationship for many years.
“I could never really get him out of my system,” Spicer told the New York Post. “I would try and then we would get back with each other. He’s the only person I was ever able to fall back in love with several times. Usually, when I’m done with someone I’m over it. I’d think I’d have him out of my system and then we’d start talking again and it was just on again.”
Tyson admits that he toyed with Spicer and kept her at arm’s length because of his wild and immature ways.
“At that particular time I was an idiot and I believed that it was normal protocol that everyone should want to be with me,” Tyson told the New York Post. “That’s what I was taught in life. I didn’t know people could really care about you because you’re really not that bad of a schmuck.”
Eventually, however, Spicer managed to convince the perpetual bachelor to make it legal. According to The Guardian, the couple wed on a whim in Las Vegas, securing their marriage license just 30 minutes before saying, “I do.”
But it was not Tyson’s first time at the altar. Back in 1988, at the height of his fame, the boxer married actress Robin Givens. After a very public and stormy relationship riddled with allegations of violence and domestic abuse, the couple divorced just a year later. Tyson seemed to confirm his wife’s claims in the 1989 biography, Fire and Fear: The Inside Story of Mike Tyson, in which he’s quoted as saying: “It was when I fought Robin in Steve Lott’s apartment. She really offended me and I went BAM. She flew backwards, hitting every wall in the apartment. That was the best punch I’ve ever thrown in my entire life.”
Tyson’s next wife was Monica Turner, a woman he had known since the ‘90s and reconnected with during the three years he was in prison on rape charges. Turner and Tyson married on April 19, 1997, and had two kids together. But unfortunately, Tyson was not a good husband to wife number two. After several years of infidelity, Turner filed for divorce in 2002. The split was finalized in 2003.
Spicer And Tyson Have Two Children Together, Milan and Morocco
Now married for over a decade, Mike Tyson and Lahika Spicer have two kids together—Milan, 12, and Morocco, 10.
But there are four more children who call Mike Tyson dad—31-year-old Mikey Lorna, 25-year-old Rayna, 23-year-old Amir, and 19-year-old Miguel. Sadly, Tyson also had a daughter named Exodus, born in 2005, who passed away in a tragic accident when she was just four years old. The toddler was fatally injured after getting tangled in a cord that was hanging from a treadmill.
“Somehow she was playing on this treadmill, and there’s a cord that hangs under the console—it’s kind of a loop,” the police explained. “Either she slipped or put her head in the loop, but it acted like a noose, and she was obviously unable to get herself off of it.”
Lakiha Spicer Has Helped Mike Tyson Through Tough Times
Tyson raised eyeballs when he married Spicer just two weeks after the heartbreaking accidental death of his daughter. However, the heavyweight champ said that tying the knot was what helped him cope with the tragedy. “After Exodus’s death I knew I needed to do something positive and not sit there full of anger,” he told The Sun in 2012. “I married the woman of my dreams. She’s not dark like me. I want to die with her.”
The former boxer also credits Spicer with helping him get healthy—both physically and mentally. “I stopped drinking and for six months I only ate tomato and basil soup and water,” he told The Sun. “I lost over 100lb and I haven’t had meat since. I don’t want anything in me that’s going to enrage me — no processed food, no meat. It’s much harder to be a good man than a great boxer.”
In fact, Tyson admits he would be probably dead were it not for Lakiha Spicer. “I can’t live without a wife,” the boxer explained on rapper T.I.’s podcast, ExpediTIously. “If I don’t have a wife, I’ll kill myself. That’s real talk. I need somebody to listen to. I’m a soldier. I can’t think on my own. I need somebody to do it…I know myself.”
Spicer even helped her husband write Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, a one-man stage show directed by Spike Lee. It recounts Tyson’s turbulent life: his rough childhood, days as a hard-partying heavyweight champ, and battles with anger and addiction. “I’m just happy she’s interested in doing this stuff,” Tyson told the New York Post about the project. “She made me see that it’s in our best interest to do this. I never really understood what was in my own best interest.”
She Also Thinks His Iconic Face Tattoo Is Sexy
But perhaps the most honest testament to Spicer and Tyson’s compatibility is her love for her husband’s outrageous face tattoo.
“It’s sexy. I like it now,” she said in a 2013 interview with Bryant Gumbel. “I think it was an ingenious marketing move. Because now he’s the guy — it doesn’t make a difference where he is in the world, no one will ever say, ‘I think that’s Mike Tyson, that guy looks like him.’ No, that’s Mike Tyson. It was smart.”
If she finds that tattoo sexy, Spicer is clearly meant to be with the wild and crazy Mike Tyson!