Strange Things About Mike Tyson's Marriage To Lakiha Spicer

This article discusses addiction

Mike Tyson's life has been tragic and turbulent in and out of the ring, and his love life is no different. After acrimonious divorces from Robin Givens and Monica Turner, he found stability in Lakiha Spicer. The two wed on June 6, 2009, and have been going strong since. But the marriage has been anything but smooth sailing. From dealing with the consequences of the former heavyweight champion's drug and alcohol addiction to withstanding his womanizing ways, Tyson's wife has put up with a lot.

Spicer has faced her demons as well, which complicated things further, but she and Tyson always seem to find a way to make it work. Together, they worked to provide a stable life for their daughter, Milan, and son, Morocco, who were respectively born in December 2008 and January 2011. After marrying Spicer, Tyson moved to the suburbs of Las Vegas and embraced a quiet life he had never experienced before. He was going to bed at 8 p.m. and waking up before sunlight to enjoy peaceful walks in his neighborhood before his wife and kids got up, according to a 2011 New York Times profile.

It wasn't a straight line, though. As with anything relating to the controversial boxing legend, his marriage to Spicer is filled with strange details. For one, his sobriety journey has been tough. And the adulterous tendencies that plagued his first two marriages didn't just go away when he wed Spicer. While successful, his third marriage has been just as tumultuous as his first two. 

Mike Tyson cheated on Lakiha Spicer multiple times

Throughout most of his relationship with Lakiha Spicer, Mike Tyson admittedly had some extramarital affairs. "I'm not faithful enough. I'm just not that kind of guy. I don't care about nothing enough more than my d**k, so how am I gonna be faithful to somebody?" he said on T.I.'s "ExpediTIously" podcast in January 2020 (via HNHH). But Spicer helped him break the cycle, and Tyson learned to be monogamous. 

Age also played a role. With time, he began to deconstruct his immature views on women. "I look at them as the half. It makes me realize that I'm a man," he said. "And at this stage in my life, they're my teachers." But while Tyson now admits to his serial infidelity, he once claimed he was faithful to Spicer. Five months into the marriage, he said Spicer was the only person he had never cheated on in an October 2009 interview with O, The Oprah Magazine.

It's unclear whether Tyson was being untruthful or if he went months before picking up his cheating habits again. But even back then, he showed an understanding of the toxic effects of his behavior. "I know most of my relationships have failed because I've never been loyal or honest to anybody in my life, as far as relationships," he said.

Lakiha Spicer was a teenager when she met Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson met Lakiha Spice in the mid-'90s, a decade and a half before they tied the knot. Spicer was 18 and the daughter of a prominent religious leader in Philadelphia who enjoyed the local boxing scene. Spicer often accompanied him to matches, which is how she first crossed paths with Tyson, who was around 28. But the controversial promoter Don King, who was friends with the family, warned Tyson not to get any ideas.

"Stay away from her. Don't go talking to that girl. Leave these people alone. These are not the people to mess with," King said, as Tyson recalled to the New York Post in 2012. For some time, Tyson did, but King's warning had the opposite effect on him. "It was like [a] moth to a flame," Spicer said. For five years, she and Tyson kept their relationship friendly. When she was 23, they became more than friends, though it wasn't serious; whenever Spicer went to New York, she spent the night with him.

That was around 2000 when Tyson was with his now ex-wife Monica Turner. Spicer was likely only one of Tyson's many flings, which ruined his second marriage. When Turner filed for divorce in 2003, she cited his infidelity. "Such adultery has neither been forgiven nor condoned," reads the filing (via The Smoking Gun). It was far from the ideal situation, but Spicer's feelings overpowered her. "I could never really get him out of my system," she said.

Lakiha Spicer did time while pregnant with Milan Tyson

Lakiha Spicer had a positive pregnancy test just a week before she was set to start her sentence in federal prison. In 2008, she served six months for her role in a family scheme that embezzled $274,000 from a teaching program she supposedly taught in, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Spicer was found guilty of pocketing $71,000 from a job she didn't have.  Her mother was also convicted of conspiracy and fraud in the payroll scam.

When she was released, she was three months away from having a child with a man she had been casually dating. Against all odds, that marked the beginning of Mike Tyson's longest marriage. In Spicer's absence, Tyson lost himself to drugs while she herself had never been in such a vulnerable position. "We were both destitute," she said in the 2012 New York Post interview. After welcoming Milan Tyson in late 2008, they leaned on each other and became a family.

However, Tyson's addiction made him unreliable. He often disappeared, leaving Spicer with only misinformation and speculation about his whereabouts. But despite Tyson's lifestyle, she stuck by him and did what she could to help him get sober, which the boxer is very thankful for.  "Ask my wife how many times I OD'd," he said on "Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson" in 2022, describing how she would reanimate him with cold compresses. 

Mike Tyson wed days after his daughter's tragic death

Mike Tyson exchanged vows with Lakiha Spicer just 11 days after the death of his 4-year-old daughter, Exodus, a fact outlets were quick to point out. On May 26, 2009, the girl, one of two children Tyson had with ex-girlfriend Sol Xochitl, accidentally suffocated after becoming tangled in a treadmill cord. The former couple's son Miguel, then 7, found his sister in distress and called his mother into the room. Exodus was then taken to the hospital but died of her injuries later that morning. 

Exodus' death happened at an already turbulent time for Tyson, as Spicer had been released from prison just the previous year and his drug addiction was at an all-time high. Fortunately, Spicer played an important role in Tyson's grieving process, and even if the road was bumpy, the tragedy motivated him; the boxer wanted to do things differently this time. "I was determined to live a better life for the sake of my family," he penned in a 2014 New York Times essay.

Besides, Tyson and Spicer had just welcomed a child six months before they got married in a private ceremony without any guests. "They just wanted to say the vows and be married," chapel owner Shawn Absher told The Guardian.

Mike Tyson has some disturbing views on love

Mike Tyson feels emotions intensely — perhaps too much so. And that intensity has given him a pretty dark outlook on love. "Love is the slowest and the most direct form of suicide," he said on "Angie Martinez IRL" in 2022. Later in the interview, he added, "Love is a form of death." Tyson's views seem to stem from the vulnerability of attaching so much of his well-being to someone else. He seemingly revealed his state of mind during Lakiha Spicer's imprisonment.

"When you're so in love with somebody you can't eat. Or they get locked up and you can't eat for a couple of days," he said. He believes love can be so powerful that it drives people to do the unthinkable. "You might even kill yourself over them," he said. This wasn't the first time Tyson described love in terms of death. In his interview with T.I. in 2020, Tyson said he got married thrice because he needs a wife to function. "If I don't have a wife, I'll kill myself. That's real talk. I need somebody to listen to," he said.

In 2012, Tyson credited Spicer with saving him from himself. In the New York Post conversation, he revealed his addiction would likely have cost him his life had his wife not been there for him. "I'm very happy me and my wife got together because I don't know how I would have survived out there," he said.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with addiction issues or is struggling or in crisis, help is available.