LONDON - Former boxing promoter Frank Maloney, now known as Kellie Maloney, said she told a Sunday newspaper she was living as a woman because the story might have been revealed by someone else.
Maloney revealed she now wanted to be known as Kellie in an interview with Britain's Sunday Mirror last week.
Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain television programme on Wednesday, the 61-year-old said other papers were threatening to 'out' her and that "previously transgender people have been ridiculed in the press and I didn't want that to happen to me and I didn't want that to happen to others".
Maloney, who managed Britain's former world heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis, quit boxing in October.
"I've got all these crusades that I'd like to do, but the most important one is I'd really want to help the transgender community because they've really rallied around me."
Maloney said going public with her story felt "like a complete release" and that she had known she was "different from everyone else" from the age of three or four.
Asked about any negative reactions, Maloney replied: "I received so many of them in my boxing business they'd just be like water off a duck's back now to me. Really, that life has prepared me for this transition."
After the Sunday Mirror published Maloney's story, a supportive Lewis said: "I was just as shocked as anyone at the news about my former promoter and my initial thought was that it was a wind-up.
"However, having taken some time to read Kellie's statements, I understand better what she, and others in similar situations, are going through. I think that all people should be allowed to live their lives in a way that brings them harmony and inner peace.
"I respect Kellie's decision and say that if this is what brings about true happiness in her life, than so be it," he added.