The National Rifle Association is fighting a court order to remove a video clip from its website, saying the video, which shows a member of Tyson’s entourage punching the boxer’s head, does not accurately depict the fight.
The NRA said it wants to defend its right to free speech and is challenging a judge’s ruling that it is a matter of public record.
The video, a clip of which was uploaded to YouTube in November, shows Tyson’s friend Karina Woods, who was Tyson’s bodyguard and a guest at the 2005 fight, walking through the dressing room and speaking to Tyson.
Woods says she was punched and choked in the head and arms.
The clip, which was taken at a press conference on Sept. 10, 2005, shows Woods’ head fall to the floor.
In it, Woods says: “We don’t deserve to have him die like this.
I just want the truth to come out.”
The NRA’s lawyer, Alan Gottlieb, said in a court filing that the video was taken before Tyson was hospitalized for an undisclosed medical condition, but that the organization did not consider it relevant to the fight and therefore should not be included in its public record request.
Gottliebb argued that the clip, posted on a site called Truthsider, does show that Woods was punched.
Gottlieb wrote that Tyson’s lawyer made an argument in the lawsuit that the public had no right to know the full details of the alleged assault.
Gottliabs argument, he said, was “the most outrageous assertion of the NRA’s right to silence.”
The attorney for Woods’ family, William R. Burman, said it was “truly outrageous” that Woods should have to reveal her role in the fight, and that he was “thrilled” that Tyson was released from hospital on Friday after being in a coma for four days.
Burmon said in an interview that Woods had no involvement in the assault and that the lawsuit had no merit.
Burmen said Woods had made the video on a personal computer and that she was not a guest of Tyson and had nothing to do with the fight itself.
“I am not going to dignify that with a comment,” Burman said.
“We will be filing a motion to compel production of this tape, which would show the full story of the incident.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, claims that Woods lied to a reporter in the days after the fight to protect her friend.
Burmans attorneys, Michael Lippman and Michael Biesecker, said Woods told the reporter that she had not touched Tyson.
They said the reporter asked Woods about the punches, which she said she did not perform.
The attorney said the lawsuit would seek damages for “unlawful publication” of the videotape.
Burms attorneys said Woods did not punch Tyson in the face and was not the aggressor.
The lawsuit accuses Woods of lying because she feared she would be punished if she told police that she did.
In a letter to the court, Burmans lawyers asked that the judge dismiss the lawsuit because they believed that the record could be easily manipulated.
The suit was filed in the Eastern District of New York.