Two women are suing George Foreman alleging they were raped by the boxing legend in the 1970s when they were teenagers.
In a pair of lawsuits, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the women say their father worked with Foreman, who began grooming them as children. They claimed that they were assaulted in California years after they first met him. They each searched for up to $25 million.
The foreman denied the allegations. “Over the past six months, two women have attempted to blackmail me and my family millions of dollars each,” he said in a statement. “They are lying that I sexually abused them more than 45 years ago in the 1970s. I firmly and unequivocally deny these allegations. I am proud of my reputation that means as much to me as my athletic achievements, and I will not be intimidated by baseless threats and lies. I am, and will always be, guided by my faith and trust in the Lord. I will work with my attorneys to fully and honestly expose the conspiracy of my accusers and defend myself in court. I don’t fight, but I don’t run away from them either.”
The lawsuit comes under an amendment passed in 2020 to California’s statute of limitations for certain sex offenders, giving victims of childhood sexual assault more time to sue. . The amended law allows plaintiffs to sue within five years of the discovery of assault injury. Judy Huth notably sued Bill Cosby alleging she was raped at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15 years old by law. In June, a jury in Los Angeles found that the comedian had assaulted her.
The women suing Foreman claim they suffered “physical and emotional pain and suffering” that they discovered on an unspecified date. They have brought their lawsuits under pseudonyms. Foreman was also listed as a Doe defendant but was identified as a former professional heavyweight boxer who turned pro in 1969 and defeated Joe Frazier to win the heavyweight championship in 1973.
Denise S., of Los Angeles County, said she met Foreman when she was 8 years old and has been cared for by the boxer for many years.
“When Plaintiff was 13 years old, Doe called Plaintiff at her home in Hayward, California and asked Plaintiff if she knew how to masturbate,” the lawsuit states. “During the call, Doe instructed the plaintiff on how to masturbate himself.”
According to the lawsuit, Foreman raped her several times in 1976. On one occasion, he allegedly assaulted her while staying at a hotel in San Francisco.
In a separate complaint, Nevada resident Gwen H. said Foreman invited her to his apartment when she was 15 years old after meeting him years earlier in Philadelphia. She claims he threatened to fire her father, who was a longtime mentor to the boxer.
“DOE threatened that if she did not comply, her father would lose his job,” the complaint reads. “The DOE then instructed Plaintiff to remove her clothing. Feeling the pressure and coercion of this threat, Plaintiff complied with the orders of the DOE. “
According to the lawsuit, Foreman raped her multiple times until she was 16 years old.
Both women said they told an unnamed friend and business associate of Foreman about being assaulted by the boxer. They were told he knew of at least one other victim who sexually abused her when she was a child, the lawsuit said. When confronted, Foreman allegedly did not deny the charges.
The complaints allege sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Foreman is represented by Shawn Holley and Suann MacIssac of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley.