josie harris usa today

*Josie Harris, Floyd Mayweather’s former girlfriend and mother to three of his four children, spoke at length to USA Today about the physical and emotional abuse she says she endured during her relationship with the boxer.

Read an excerpt below, followed by a video piece:

[She] doesn’t see Mayweather much these days. Occasionally he will collect their children in person, but more often than not they are transported using the jet service he uses for much of his travel outside of Las Vegas.

It’s an arrangement she is happy with.

“(It means) I don’t have to take a Xanax before he comes, otherwise I will be sweating bullets,” Harris told USA TODAY Sports in an interview at her home 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles. “For some reason I still get anxiety when I know that he is on his way. I have no idea why, but I get really overwhelmed when I know that I have to be around him.”

Harris says she suffered physical abuse from the boxer on “six occasions,” the worst coming in September 2010, when Mayweather entered Harris’ home as she slept, yanked her to the floor by her hair, then punched and kicked and screamed cuss words at her in front of their children. It was the couple’s oldest son, Koraun, who slipped out of the house to alert a security guard to summon police.

Mayweather was eventually sentenced to 90 days in prison. It was one of seven alleged assaults Mayweather has committed against five different women that resulted in him being arrested or issued a citation. Last month, his former fiancée, Shantel Jackson, filed a civil lawsuit including claims of battery, false imprisonment and allegations that the fighter pointed a gun at her.

A year ago, Harris still viewed her history with Mayweather as a love story gone wrong. Now, in the light of recent public awareness sparked by a video of NFL running back Ray Rice punching his wife in an elevator, with even President Obama’s weighing in on efforts to stop domestic violence, she sees it differently.

“I was a battered woman,” Harris said. “I felt embarrassed about saying I was a battered woman. I felt shame. I felt like it was my fault. What did I do? I didn’t understand what a battered woman was at that time. Now I know I was in a very dysfunctional, hostile relationship and a victim of domestic violence.”

Read the entire article here.

Below, Josie Harris describes her rocky relationship with the pound-for-pound king of boxing with USA TODAY’s Martin Rogers.