When Mike Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992, Donald Trump told radio host Howard Stern that Tyson was actually the victim of women’s sexual predations.
When Stern asked Trump if he’d ever seen Tyson touch women inappropriately, Trump responded with a laugh: “I've seen women going around touching him. He walks in a room and the women start grabbing him and grabbing his ass and grabbing anything else they can grab on him.”
Trump also called Tyson’s guilty verdict a “travesty” in the Stern recording, which was uncovered by CNN.
The recording confirms and supports what we already knew — that Trump vigorously defended Mike Tyson after Tyson was charged with rape, and blamed Tyson’s victim for going to his hotel room in the first place.
Trump even proposed that Tyson be allowed to avoid jail by paying millions of dollars to the victim and to rape charities. (That wasn’t a selfless impulse, since Trump stood to gain millions if his casinos had hosted the big pending fight between Tyson and Evander Holyfield.)
Trump’s comments about Tyson bring to mind other things he wrote about women in his books. He saw women as sexual aggressors who couldn’t keep their hands off of him — but given what we know about the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Trump, the opposite was likely true.
Tyson also isn’t the only accused rapist Trump has defended, and Tyson’s victim isn’t the only one Trump has blamed.
And while the 1990s were a different time when it comes to public perceptions of sexual assault, Trump did the same thing — defending the accused and suggesting that the alleged victims were liars — when his longtime friend Roger Ailes was accused of sexual harassment.