?She allows her mother, Ruth Roper, too much say in her life, and she hired a flamboyant divorce lawyer. Is this worse than relying for counsel on, say, Donald Trump and Don King?
?She lied on her r�sum�. Tyson used to mug people. Nobody's perfect.
Givens's detractors will say that while individually none of the above-mentioned failings is a high crime, together they describe a really rotten person. Sorry, but it doesn't add up that way to me.
Although it is tempting to dismiss the Tyson-Givens affair as low comedy, the vehemence of the attacks on Givens is disturbing. Nor is she the only beautiful actress involved with an athlete who has been subjected to the slings and arrows of the press and sports fans. For instance, in the December issue of Esquire, Mike Lupica, a New York Daily News sports columnist, makes predictions for 1989. One of them: "[A new TV] show will be called The Gold-Digging Girls and will star Robin Givens, Janet Jones ( Mrs. Wayne Gretzky), and Tatum O'Neal ( Mrs. John McEnroe). The story will revolve around three mediocre young actresses who become big stars simply by marrying high-profile millionaire athletes. Each week they will meet and compare magazine covers, party invitations, and the rare job opportunities."
That's tame compared with some of the rantings by Canadian newspapers about "Jezebel Janet" after Gretzky went from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, a move wrongly thought to have been caused by Jones. Rushing to their defense like this is as insulting to the athletes as it is to the women. It implies that they're too dumb to realize their careers and personal lives are being destroyed by female predators.
A swirl of nasty rumors and suspicions surrounds the Tyson-Givens mess. In sorting them out, it helps to keep in mind a few things:
?Sometimes we fall deeply in love with the wrong people. This happens even to those of us who aren't stupid or evil.
?It's tough enough to gauge a marriage when you're half of the couple in question. It's well-nigh impossible to judge what's going on from the outside.
?When sportswriters start talking about love and marriage, at least one of your eyebrows should automatically rise.