In his new biography, Sugar Ray Leonard shares with the world that he was sexually harassed by a prominent Olympic boxing coach at the age of 15. The book does not state the coach’s name, although it is known that the coach has since died. Several reports have been released over the past day, first from the New York Times, revealing this information, and Leonard has shared his thoughts, basically stating that he knew he would never be free until he was able to get this out there in its entirety and deal with it, and he was inspired last year by actor Todd Bridges’ revelation of childhood abuse while on the Oprah show.
According to details revealed from the book, the first incident that took place involved taking a bath and having his coach watch. Later on though, sitting in a car the coach was talking to him about winning a gold at the 1976 Olympics, which of course Leonard would go on to do successfully. Leonard says that,
“Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life. I didn’t scream. I didn’t look at him. I just opened the door and ran.”
The initial version of that story in the book stopped before the contact was made, but as mentioned, Leonard had been inspired by another’s revelation and knew he needed to get into full detail, as tough as it was for him to do.
The biography is entitled, “The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring,” will come out shortly, and in the book, Leonard discusses not only this harrowing incident but a number of his other difficulties including the alcoholism and abuse in his household as a child, his cocaine abuse later in life, having a son at just 17, and more.