Former boxing heavyweight champion George Foreman has been accused of sexually assaulting two women when they were teenagers and below the age of consent during the 1970s in a pair of lawsuits, according to The New York Times.
The two women, now in their early 60s, reportedly both claim to have met Foreman when they were under 10 years old. One accuser's father was allegedly a boxer and sparring partner for Foreman, while the other was a manager and adviser for him.
Both reportedly claim Foreman groomed them for several years before forcing them to have sex with him in locations including a San Francisco hotel and Beverly Hills apartment. Both complaints have been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Foreman allegedly kept at least one girl quiet with a threat of “You don’t want your dad to lose his job, do you?”
Foreman, now 73 years old, denied the claims to ABC News:
In a statement to ABC News, Foreman said he will work with his lawyers to "fully and truthfully expose my accusers' scheme and defend myself in court. I don't pick fights, but I don't run away from them either."
"They are falsely claiming that I sexually abused them over 45 years ago in the 1970s. I adamantly and categorically deny these allegations. The pride I take in my reputation means as much to me as my sports accomplishments, and I will not be intimidated by baseless threats and lies," Foreman said.
Foreman's professional boxing career ranged from 1969 to 1997, twice capturing major heavyweight world titles and an Olympic gold medal as an amateur in 1968. In an age dominated by Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Foreman rocketed to prominence when he dominated Frazier for the title in 1973.
That reign would only last one year, as Foreman famously lost to Ali in The Rumble in the Jungle in 1974. Foreman struggled to regain his footing after that loss, stepping away from boxing in 1977 to become an ordained minister and returning to the sport in 1987. He won the WBA and IBF world titles by defeating Michael Moorer in 1994 and ultimately retired with a career record of 76-5.
Despite all that success, most of Foreman's current fortune comes from the line of "George Foreman Grills" bearing his name, which he says have netted him more than $200 million.