Being Tyson Blog: Episode 2
Every week, Mike Tyson's wife, Kiki, will offer her perspective on each episode in her own words.
The tour for Mike's one-man show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth ironically kicked off in Indianapolis, a place of great controversy for Mike. It was seemingly just a coincidence as the tour booker made this city the first stop solely for logistical purposes. However, I am a strong believer that nothing is by chance. Once I realized Indianapolis was the first city on the tour route, I immediately brought it to Mike's attention. I didn't want Mike to feel uncomfortable returning to the city where he was convicted of raping a beauty contestant (back in 1992) and served three years incarceration because of it. I totally understood if Mike wanted to reroute the tour or to take Indianapolis off the tour altogether. However, Mike told me he was fine with going. The week leading up to our arrival in Indianapolis, Mike started wavering back and forth about whether or not he made the right decision.
Mike rehearses with his vocal coach prior to his one man show in Indianapolis.
Once we arrived, Mike was still regretting his decision to come to Indianapolis, and I really felt awful about it. The tension in the air was palpable soon as we stepped foot into the Indianapolis International Airport. I was really kicking myself for allowing this city to be booked, especially as the first stop. I regretted not intervening and canceling the show. Once we checked into our hotel, his mood was still the same. The only moments of solace for him were Milan and Morocco. They would do something silly or distracting and ease the tension momentarily. He thought the whole town hated him and that it was a mistake for coming.
To make matters worse, the film crew was shadowing us since our arrival. Shortly thereafter, Mike headed back to the place he was incarcerated to meet with the warden outside of the facility. At the time he was imprisoned, Phil Slavens was the assistant warden. Mike didn't really know what he was going to say or what the warden wanted to say to him. Mike always had a great deal of respect for Mr. Slavens and genuinely thought he was a good man. The conversation between the two of them went very well. After the visit, he came back to the hotel with such a positive and optimistic look on Indianapolis. He was grateful for this being the first city on the tour. He said he hadn't realized until he went back to the prison and talked to the warden how much he needed to do this to move on.
Mike meets with Phil Slavens, Assistant Superintendent at Plainfield Correctional Complex, who oversaw Mike during his time at the facility.
The next day, he gave a brilliant performance. Upon leaving to head to Chicago for the next show, Mike took with him a newfound love and appreciation for the city of Indianapolis. He had originally thought the entire town hated him, but he left knowing he had an array of supporters and fans. He said going to Indianapolis was what he needed to put what happened to him to rest. He didn't realize how much it had been bothering him until he was forced to confront it. He had so much hurt and pain throughout the years for being subjected and labeled something he wasn't and going back there to face those demons that haunted him was like lifting an emotional barrier off his shoulders.
Mike performs on stage during opening night of his one man show in Indianapolis.