By T.K. Stewart
Former four-time heavyweight titlist Evander Holyfield recently filed documents in Cobb County Superior Court in Georgia to alter his existing child support agreement with ex-wife Dr. Janice Itson.
Holyfield and Itson were wed in Oct. 4 1996, a month before his first bout against Mike Tyson. They were divorced 3 ½ years later.
A source close to the Holyfield family contacted BoxingScene.com Tuesday and revealed the situation regarding the spending habits by Ms. Itson (as well as Holyfield’s drop in income) that has led the boxer to seek a renegotiation of their 2000 divorce settlement.
“I can tell you that she has a credit card in here name that, in the past, she has routinely charged upwards of twenty to twenth-five thousand dollars a month on,” said the source. “She would charge everything to that card from Starbucks Coffee to groceries to vacations. Evander was on the hook to pay it all.
“She would run over a quarter of a million dollars worth of stuff through that card in a year. I know for a fact that the credit card company had threatened to shut the card down on her. They would call her to get a comfort level with her spending habits. Once they found out she had been married to Evander - and that she herself was a doctor - they would let her go over her credit limit and basically charge whatever she wanted. It would always be paid in full within a month.”
Itson was Holyfield’s second wife. The couple had one child together, a son, Elijah Jedidiah Holyfield. But during the time they were married, Holyfield fathered two other children out of wedlock with two different women. The pair went through a very messy divorce and Holyfield, despite his own marital infidelity, requested a paternity test be administered to prove that Elijah was indeed his child. At the time of their divorce, Holyfield’s net worth was estimated to be $90 million.
“Evander paid for everything for her,” said the source. “Everything for her, her house, Elijah - and she was not a spendthrift. Every day was a shopping spree and every day was a day at the mall. I know that she used the credit card I told you about so often that she had to call the credit card company to get a new card because it was literally worn out.”
Earlier this month, Itson sued Holyfield in Harris County District Court in Houston, Texas seeking to collect $280,000 in past-due child support and interest. She had also filed suit against him in Georgia in October seeking to collect on the same obligation. Itson was able to bring suit against Holyfield in Texas because he owns two properties (one of which is worth over $1 million) in Harris County.
The Holyfield-Itson divorce, granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, was finalized in July 2000, but the couple had been separated since July 1998. At the time, Holyfield admitted the marriage was “a mistake” on his part.