Bill Maher Defends Mike Tyson: 'I Never Thought You Committed That Crime'

Bill Maher to Mike Tyson: "I don’t think that was rape."

The big issue around Mike Tyson is his rape conviction in 1992. He went to jail from 1992-1995 for raping 18-year beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washigton. Tyson has long contended he was wrongfully accused and convicted.

On the latest episode of Club Random with Bill Maher, the podcast host brings up the subject in the third segment. "I never thought you committed that crime," he blurts out at the 37-minute mark.

"Hey. listen, I appreciate that," Tyson replies.

Maher: "Not that it's important..." 

Tyson: "No, it is..."

Maher: "Back in the day, I'd always say:

"I don't think that was rape, I think what Mike did was have sex with someone consensually and then wasn't nice enough after. Then someone gets angry. Maybe you're guilty of  that."

Tyson: "No, but listen. I'm guilty because of things I've done and got away with before that was grimy. That's what happened. That was just a wake-up call. There's things I did do that was bad to women, disrespectful that I got away with. And this is one it showed..." Maher talks over Tyson at this important point. 

Tyson: "It was the best thing that happened to me. It was a great learning experience."

But not to Washington, who's conveniently dismissed in this conversation.

In Tyson's mind, he was found guilty because of his reputation, not his actions on July 21, 1991 in Indianapolis when he invited the impressionable teenager to his room in the middle of the night.

"I did not rape Desiree Washington," Tyson wrote in his 2013 book Undisputed Truth: My Autobiography. "She knows it, God knows it and the consequences of her actions are something that she's got to live with for the rest of her life."

Until Tyson admits to his crime he should have no place in the cannabis industry. That's when his real rehabilitation will begin. 

As for Maher, he may be for pot, but otherwise he's become a lost cause.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.