Oscar De La Hoya has revealed that he was raped when he was 13 by a woman in her 30s, while at a boxing competition in Hawaii.
The Los Angeles-born fighter, now 48, told The Los Angeles Times that he has struggled for decades to accept what happened to him.
He is coming out of retirement to take on Brazilian MMA fighter Vitor Belfort later this month, and said that boxing was a way of dealing with his demons.
‘I was raped at 13, from a woman, an older woman,’ he told the paper.
‘Thirteen, lost my virginity over being, you know, being raped, basically.
‘I was in Hawaii, I think, at some tournament. She was over 35.’
Oscar De La Hoya is pictured on August 24, in a public workout to promote his forthcoming fight against Vitor Belfort. On Tuesday The Los Angeles Times published an interview in which he said he was raped by a child by a woman in her 30s
De La Hoya is seen at the age of 12. At 13, he said, he was raped by a woman in her 30s
Los Angeles-born De La Hoya is pictured at the age of 11, when he was a junior champion
De La Hoya, a father of six nicknamed Golden Boy for his 1992 Olympic medal, said that his boxing career served as a distraction from his emotional turmoil.
He had begun boxing as a child, and by 11 was a junior champion. He continued with the sport despite the trauma of the abuse.
Vitor Belfort will fight De La Hoya on September 11
‘You suppress everything,’ he said.
‘You’re living this life, the Golden Boy, but, oh s***, wait, that’s still there.
‘Like I never, like, thought about it, I never processed it, I never really thought how my feelings are … until one day it just comes out, and you don’t know how to deal with it.’
In 1998, when he was 25, he was accused of having raped a 15-year-old in June 1996, at a Mexico hotel. The case was settled out of court in 2001.
From 2007 onwards, De La Hoya battled substance abuse issues, seeking treatment multiple times for alcoholism and cocaine addiction.
He was engaged to former Miss USA Shanna Moakler – mother of his eldest child, Atiana – but the relationship ended in September 2000 when Moakler, who was at home watching the Latin Grammys
From 2001-16 he was married to Puerto Rican singer Millie Corretjer, with whom he has three children.
He has two other sons, Jacob and Devon, from previous relationships.
De La Hoya retired in 2009, after losing to Manny Pacquiao.
De La Hoya, who has toyed several times with running for president, is seen on August 24
The boxer is pictured at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where he won gold and earned the nickname Golden Boy
In 2019 he was accused of inviting a woman, a registered nurse, to his Pasadena, California home in November 2017.
It was there, she claimed, that De La Hoya became intoxicated after revealing several bottles of liquor and a bag of ‘what appeared to be cocaine’ in his kitchen.
De La Hoya allegedly brought the woman to his bedroom, where she says he told her about his fetish for transgender porn and asked if she wanted to ‘experiment’ sexually. After she turned down several of his requests, she alleged that De La Hoya grew angry and ultimately ‘held her down with one arm while’ sexually assaulting her.
The woman claims she ‘repeatedly said no and demanded that De La Hoya stop.’
In response to her screams, she says, De La Hoya laughed and offered her a shot of alcohol. The woman claims she refused and left his home in ‘extreme pain and shock.’
He said the allegations were false, and no charges were ever filed.
Now the boxer says he is returning to the sport because he wants to.
‘I’m doing it for me,’ he said.
Before, he told the paper, he was doing it for ‘everybody.’
‘The whole world,’ he said.
‘My kids. All the fans.
‘It’s like, I never stopped to think, man, what about me? How do I want this to be?’
De La Hoya is seen at the 1992 Olympics, fighting Adilson Silva of Brazil on his way to gold
De La Hoya’s 1992 victory – he’s pictured at the time – captured the imagination of the country
De La Hoya said he announced his retirement not because he wanted to but because he thought that’s what he was supposed to do.
‘The next day, deep down inside, it’s like, why did I do that?’ he said.
‘You try to convince yourself that life is going to get better after you retire.
‘Jesus, you’ve been waiting for this moment all your life. And once you’re retired, once you’re not doing what you love, there’s a big hole.’
De La Hoya said he was struggling.
‘I have my kids,’ he said.
‘Have a great relationship with them. Moms are amazing. Everything’s beautiful.
‘But inside, bro, f****** burning.’
De La Hoya said he quit drinking last year, and recently found peace after taking hallucinogenic mushrooms, with a shaman.
‘I couldn’t be drinking and doing drugs and this and that,’ he said. ‘I’m going to throw my life away, you know?’
De La Hoya founded his own company, Golden Boy, and is seen on August 24 to promote his reemergence from retirement
Of the mushrooms, he said: ‘It went incredible. It was at my house. It was with a shaman.
‘The fact that that shaman came to my life at that particular [time], at that place, it happened for a reason. I feel it saved me.
‘But it saved me only from my mom and my relationship with her.’
And he said that he had finally overcome his fear to be able to return to the ring.
‘Just scared,’ he said.
‘Scared of what’s going to happen, scared of the outcome, scared of just pulling the trigger.
‘I just finally said, ‘You know what? I’m going do it. I’m going to do it for myself.’