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Doctor Questions Newspaper Report on Tyson

September 23, 1988

The strange case of Mike Tyson is a split decision.

A story in the New York Post Thursday quoted the heavyweight champion as saying he suffers from a "manic-depressive condition."

But Dr. Eugene Brody, a New York internist who said he treated Tyson for 3 or 4 years, said the last time he saw Tyson, 6 months ago, "Mike seemed perfectly normal to me."

In the Post article, Tyson was quoted as saying: "I was born with this disease. I can't help it. Maybe that's why I'm successful at what I do."

Brody, who said he had not seen the article, said: "It surprises me. It really does."

The Post said that Tyson's statements came Wednesday after he returned Tuesday night from a stormy trip to the Soviet Union. The Post said that, according to sources it did not identify, Tyson had several violent episodes in Moscow, including chasing his wife Robin Givens, mother-in-law Ruth Roper and a secretary through their hotel.

A source said that Tyson swallowed eight lithium pills, before leaving the Soviet Union, when his wife reminded him to take his medicine. Tyson traveled to the Soviet Union to be with Givens, who was filming two episodes of the television series, "Head of the Class."

Camille Ewald, considered a second mother by Tyson, disputed the story, in which an unnamed source described Tyson as "out of control."

Ewald said: "Mike is a normal, balanced boy and has very good control over himself and his body. Now all of a sudden he needs medicine and he has this disease. He wouldn't take an aspirin for a headache when he was here."

The Post said that, according to the source, psychiatrist Henry L. McCurtis had diagnosed Tyson as "manic-depressive" before the trip to the Soviet Union.

The Post interview came hours after Tyson hurled a radio at a television crew during his morning run in New Jersey. The Post said that after the incident with the crew, Tyson had a tearful talk with his wife, mother-in-law and McCurtis.

Tyson, 22, has been involved in a series of violent incidents in the last year. Earlier this month he was hospitalized after smashing his car into a tree at Catskill, N.Y. The New York Daily News said sources close to Tyson quoted him as threatening suicide shortly before the wreck.

"I'm doing my best, talking to Dr. McCurtis," Tyson told the Post. "This is the beginning."

Givens was quoted by the Post as saying: "He's been like this for years, and they've been ignoring it. Michael takes a great deal of protecting."

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