CANNES, France – Mike Tyson considers it a miracle that he lived to tell his tale. And he's telling it — in graphic detail — in a new documentary at the Cannes Film Festival.
"I lived a wild and extreme life," the former heavyweight champion told reporters Saturday. "I used drugs. I had altercations with dangerous people. I slept with guys' wives that wanted to kill me. I'm just happy to be here, you know. It's just a miracle."
The 41-year-old former boxer got a prolonged ovation at the Cannes screening for "Tyson," directed by his old friend James Toback ("Fingers").
In the movie, which blends old video footage and TV interviews, Tyson talks about getting beaten up and stolen from when he was an overweight kid. He chokes up when reminiscing about his late trainer, Cus D'Amato, who transformed the troubled teenager into a world-class champion.
Tyson spares no details in describing his sex life, and covers his career's low points, like biting Evander Holyfield's ear in 1997. He admits to many, many bad decisions.
But on one issue, he still refuses to take responsibility. He insists he is innocent of the 1991 rape of an 18-year-old beauty queen for which he served three years in prison.
"I've been abusive to women before in my life," he acknowledged. But in this case, "I thought (the conviction) was wrong, I thought it was unfair."
Toback, who has known Tyson for 23 years and gave him small parts in "Black and White" and "When Will I Be Loved," said he talked to Tyson in a soothing, hypnotic voice to get him to open up for the film.