Published September 10, 2010
LAS VEGAS – Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was jailed briefly Friday on a felony charge after his ex-girlfriend alleged he beat her and stole her cell phone during an argument in front of their three children.
Mayweather, 33, said nothing as he was released from the Clark County jail on $3,000 bail after being booked on a grand larceny charge. He could face up to five years in state prison if he is convicted of taking items valued at less than $2,500.
He is scheduled for an initial appearance Nov. 9 in Las Vegas Justice Court.
Mayweather's lawyer, Richard Wright, denied Mayweather was guilty of the criminal charges based on allegations by Josie Harris.
"He did not commit any grand larceny," Wright told The Associated Press. "Josie can't find her iPhone. We're attempting to find it or replace it. We'll cooperate in the investigation. We expect to get the matter resolved." An iPhone typically costs less than $500.
In a request for a Clark Court Family Court protection order, Harris said Mayweather threatened to kill her in a confrontation about 5 a.m. Thursday at a home she says is listed in his name in southwest Las Vegas.
She said he was angry about her a relationship with another man.
The document says Harris and Mayweather lived together for seven years and separated in May after 15 "on and off" years.
It says Harris sought another protection order five years ago and alleges that Mayweather battered another former girlfriend. The document does not mention an iPhone.
Harris also filed a police complaint Thursday. It has not been made public.
The nine-page request for a protection order alleges Mayweather pulled Harris's hair, punched her in the head and twisted her arm while she screamed for their children, ranging in age from 7 to almost 11, to call 911.
"He yelled and screamed that he was going to kill me and my boyfriend," Harris wrote. "Floyd has threatened to have other people do harm to me as well and if (there) is a way I can be protected from that please help me."
Police said Thursday that Harris was treated at a Las Vegas hospital for minor injuries.
A judge granted a 30-day protective order and Mayweather was served with a copy of the document when he was released from jail, Clark County courts spokeswoman Jillian Prieto said.
Mayweather is considered one of the sport's top performers, with a record of 41-0 and 25 knockouts. He goes by the nickname "Money" and earned more than $20 million in May from his fight in Las Vegas against "Sugar" Shane Mosley.
Mayweather made headlines earlier this month with an online video laced with expletives and sometimes racial rants against boxing rival and Philippine sensation Manny Pacquiao, who faces Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium near Dallas.
Fans have called for Mayweather to fight Pacquiao in what could be the richest fight in boxing history, but negotiations have stalled amid suggestions from Mayweather's camp that Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao responded with a defamation lawsuit that is still pending.
Mayweather said during the video that he's on vacation "for about a year" and would easily defeat Pacquiao after that.
Pacquiao dismissed Mayweather's video as an "uneducated message," and Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, labeled it "a really cheap low blow."
Mayweather has been arrested several times since 2002 in battery and violence cases in Las Vegas and in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich.
He was convicted in 2002 of misdemeanor battery stemming from a fight with two women at a Las Vegas nightclub. He received a suspended one-year jail sentence and was ordered to undergo impulse-control counseling.
He was fined in Grand Rapids in February 2005 and ordered to perform community service after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault and battery for a bar fight.
He was acquitted by a Nevada jury in July 2005 after being accused of hitting and kicking Harris during an argument outside a Las Vegas nightclub.
Harris, then 25, recanted her allegations and testified that she lied to police because she was angry Mayweather left her for another woman.
Harris told jurors that Mayweather was a "teddy bear inside" and said she knew "no matter what I did, he would never put his hands on me."