By Scoop Malinowski
One of the most humorous and revealing anecdotes that Mike Tyson shared in his book “Undisputed Truth” was about his unique friendship with John F. Kennedy Jr.
Tyson said he met JFK Jr randomly in New York City. “John and I were friends from New York,” said Tyson in the best-selling book. “I met him on the street one day and he invited me up to see him at his George magazine office. He was such a beautiful, down to earth cat, riding his bike around Manhattan, taking public transportation sometimes. The first thing he told me when he came to see me was, ‘My whole family told me not to come to see you. So when you see them and they’re all saying Hi to you, you get the picture.”
JFK told Tyson some interesting things:
“Nobody in my family knows how to run a business. That’s why they all went into politics. He (grandfather) wanted us to be pampered guys.”
Tyson genuinely liked JFK Jr:
“He would have made a great politician. He really cared about people. You could tell it wasn’t some phony-baloney shit. Just the way he really engaged with people, really catching the eyes of people he didn’t even know. He wasn’t scared to be seen in public; he was out there looking to engage.”
JFK even invited Tyson for a skiing trip:
“When you get out (of jail), give me a little time to handle some stuff with my wife. Then you and I have got to hang. You need to come with me to Aspen.”
“Aspen?” Tyson said. “They got no niggas in Aspen. I’m not gonna get no love up there.”
“Uh-huh. There’s Lynn Swann,” John said.
“Lynn Swann ain’t no nigga,” I said.
“Yeah, you’re right,” He conceded.
After Kennedy Jr. departed visiting Tyson in the Maryland jail in 1999, he told the assembled media of ten news teams who waited for hours after getting the scoop that Kennedy was visiting Tyson: “I’m here in support of my friend. Mike’s a much different man than his public image would suggest. He’s a man who was really putting his life back together and has an opportunity to do so in the future. I hope perhaps coming here and telling folks that, people might start to believe it, because he’s had a difficult life.”
In his book Tyson suggested JFK Jr. pulled some strings with his cousin Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (RFK’s oldest daughter and the lieutenant governor of Maryland) to get him out of jail for the road rage incident. After their visit together, Tyson indeed was released from jail after a four-month stint.
(Artwork by Bud Boccone.)