By Johnny Walker
Former boxing superstar Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya has confessed that he posed in women’s lingerie during a wild fling with a Siberian model, and paid $20 million to buy her silence. After retiring from boxing in 2009 following a brutal loss to Manny Pacquiao, De La Hoya says that his life began to quickly unravel, as he fell into the cliché traps of alcohol and drug abuse, and even began to experience suicidal fantasies.
On the Univision show Aqui y Ahora (Here and Now), De La Hoya, 38, just out of rehab for drug and alcohol abuse, admitted that, “the last fight I had with Manny Pacquiao was like a sign given to me, ‘Look, it’s time to retire. Your body, your mind are no longer in this.’”
However, the Golden Boy’s problems had already begun even before he was demolished by Pacquiao.
“I was already in a different world,” De La Hoya says.
“It was my secret. I felt very powerful being alone, by myself, drinking and doing bad things. I felt very powerful, but at the same time, I was crying and feeling lonely.”
De La Hoya now feels that his excessive intake of alcohol took years off of his boxing career.
“Partying day in and day out, being with friends, coming home at 3, 4 in the morning and try to go running at 5, 6 in the morning and not sleeping. You can’t function like that and so, at 22, 23, you can do it because you are young, your body can handle it, but now, after 32, I was already noticing a change in my physical condition,” De La Hoya said in the interview.
“I’d sometimes drink a little tequila to settle the nerves before a fight. You can’t be the greatest athlete in the world doing that kind of thing. You can’t do that. This addiction ruined my life.”
Finally, De La Hoya says that he became a heavy user of cocaine “two years ago.” He explains that, “I could no longer control it and I swear to you that I was going to end up dying or going to jail.”
Back in 2007, long before he reached that point, however, cocaine was the catalyst for the infamous photos in which De La Hoya was seen dressed in women’s lingerie.
“Yes, it was me,” De la Hoya says. “I’m tired of lying, lying to people, lying to myself … it was the first time I used it, and the drugs were not like alcohol. For me, I know I need alcohol more than drugs … but I got into very bad things.”
According to a report in the New York Post, De La Hoya paid Siberian model Milana Dravnel $20 million for her silence about the kinky photographs.
“There were women, there were drugs, there was alcohol,” says De La Hoya. “Yes, it’s all true and I’m telling you that it was. I’m starting to remember everything because now I can think clearly and it was not fun, none of it. It wasn’t even fun.”
Finally, De La Hoya, the Golden Boy who appeared to have it all, began having thoughts of suicide.
“One of those nights when I was drunk and I was alone again, I asked myself, is it worth to be alive? I was already feeling like I had nothing, and what is going through your mind are your children, your wife, the people who love you and were strong. I thought about it.
“I’m not capable of doing something like that, but I did think about it. I did think about it.”