Boxer Mike Tyson ended his second bout with marriage yesterday in Montgomery County Circuit Court, agreeing to pay his former wife $6.5 million and hand over the deed to the couple's 61-room Connecticut mansion.
Bethesda pediatrician Monica Teresa Turner sued the former heavyweight champion for divorce last January after five years of marriage, alleging in court papers that Tyson, 36, was a profligate spender and adulterer. His one-year marriage to actress Robin Givens ended in divorce in 1989.
After months of negotiation, the couple reached a tentative $6.5 million settlement in late November. Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge D. Warren Donohue granted Turner's divorce petition yesterday.
Turner, 36, a pediatric resident at Georgetown University Medical Center and the half sister of Maryland Lt. Gov.-elect Michael S. Steele (R), has been raising the couple's two children and a daughter from a previous relationship and will remain with them in the couple's $4 million Bethesda home.
Turner also got the deed to the couple's luxury estate in Farmington, Conn., which went on the market last week. It was listed for $4,750,000 and boasts 38 bathrooms, an indoor pool, movie theater, working elevator and 3,500-square-foot nightclub, according to the real estate agent handling the sale. Turner's $6.5 million payout will include the proceeds from the sale.
"Dr. Turner is very pleased that her husband and she were able to reach a quiet, respectful and dignified settlement," Turner's attorney, Sanford K. Ain, said in a statement.
Tyson's Maryland attorney, Patrick W. Dragga, did not return telephone calls requesting comment.
Turner, whom friends describe as a private person, has said little publicly about her turbulent relationship with the boxer during the 12 years of their courtship and marriage. She grew up in the Petworth neighborhood in the District and met Tyson in 1990 at a party at comedian Eddie Murphy's home in New Jersey.
From 1992 to 1995, when Tyson was serving a sentence in Indiana for the rape of Desiree Washington, an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant, Turner routinely put aside her arduous pre-medical course work to visit him.
They were married in a quiet Muslim ceremony in their Bethesda home in April 1997.
Although Turner was publicly supportive of her husband, court papers filed in conjunction with the divorce suggest that he actually spent little time living there with his wife and growing family -- daughter Rayna is now 6, son Amir 5.
The boxer's continued legal troubles contributed to their estrangement. In 1999, Tyson served a one-year sentence in the Montgomery County Detention Center for assaulting two motorists. He moved to his estate in Las Vegas in August 2001.
In an affidavit filed in June, Turner said she watched helplessly as Tyson frittered away more than $140 million in boxing earnings on luxury cars, women and exotica, such as his pet tigers and more than 1,000 pet carrier pigeons. Tyson is $18 million in debt, according to court documents.
But Turner is hardly hurting, Tyson's attorneys alleged. They say she has stashed away $17 million of Tyson's earnings.
Over the summer, the couple reached a $10 million tentative divorce agreement that was in part brokered by Steele. His involvement angered Maryland Democrats, who filed a complaint with the state Attorney Grievance Commission accusing Steele, a lawyer licensed in Pennsylvania but not Maryland, of practicing law without a license.
"I support my sister through a very difficult time," Steele said yesterday.