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 on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the women said their fathers worked with Foreman, who started grooming them as children. They claimed they were assaulted in California years after initially meeting him. They each seek upwards of $25 million.
Foreman denied the allegations. “Over the past six months, two women have been trying to extort millions of dollars each from me and my family,” he said in a statement. “They are falsely claiming that I sexually abused them over 45 years ago in the 1970s. I adamantly and categorically deny these allegations. The pride I take in my reputation means as much to me as my sports accomplishments, and I will not be intimidated by baseless threats and lies. I am, and always will be, guided by my faith and trust in God. I will work with my lawyers to fully and truthfully expose my accusers’ scheme and defend myself in court. I don’t pick fights, but I don’t run away from them either.”
The lawsuit was brought under an amendment passed in 2020 to California’s statute of limitations for certain sex crimes, giving victims of childhood sexual assault more time to sue. The amended law allows plaintiffs to sue within five years of discovering an injury caused by the assault. Judy Huth notably brought a lawsuit against Bill Cosby alleging she was raped at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15 years old under the law. In June, a Los Angeles jury found that the comedian assaulted her.
The women suing Foreman claimed they suffer “physical and mental pain and suffering” that they discovered at an unspecified date. They brought their lawsuits under pseudonyms. Foreman is also listed as a Doe defendant but is identified as a former professional heavyweight boxer who went professional in 1969 and defeated Joe Frazier for the heavyweight championship in 1973.
Los Angeles County resident Denise S. said she met Foreman when she was 8 years old and was groomed by the boxer over several 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,” states the complaint. “During the call, Doe gave plaintiff instructions on how to masturbate herself.”
Foreman raped her several times in 1976, according to the suit. On one occasion, he allegedly assaulted her while staying at a San Francisco hotel.
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 claimed he threatened to fire her father, who was a longtime advisor to the boxer.
“DOE threatened that if she didn’t comply, her dad would lose his job,” the complaint states. “DOE then instructed Plaintiff to remove her clothes. Feeling the duress and coercion of this threat, Plaintiff complied with DOE’s commands.”
Foreman raped her several times until she was 16 years old, according to the suit.
Both of the women said they told an unnamed friend and business associate of Foreman about being assaulted by the boxer. They were told that he was aware of at least one other victim who Foreman sexually abused when she was a minor, the lawsuit said. When confronted, Foreman allegedly didn’t deny the allegation.
The complaints allege sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Foreman is represented by Shawn Holley and Suann MacIsaac of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley.