Two women who said former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman sexually abused them in the 1970s have filed lawsuits in a Los Angeles court.

Foreman, 73, has denied the allegations since they first became public last month, and spokespeople referred questions about the lawsuits to an earlier statement by him.

The women filed separate lawsuits under the pseudonyms Gwen H. and Denise F. in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Foreman is referred to as DOE 1 in the lawsuits, but is described in them as the professional boxer who defeated Joe Frazier in 1973 to become the heavyweight champion of the world before losing the title to Muhammad Ali in 1974.

Both women, now in their early 60s, said they first met Foreman as children because their fathers were boxing associates of Foreman.

Denise, a Los Angeles resident, said in her lawsuit that Foreman groomed her when she was 8 years old and had sex with her when she was 15 (under the legal age of consent), in one instance in a San Francisco hotel room.

Gwen, a Nevada resident, said she met Foreman when she was 9, and that he sexually abused and raped her when she was 15 and 16 years old, including at an apartment in Beverly Hills. She said Foreman told her that her father would lose his job as a boxing adviser if she did not comply.

Foreman called the allegations false and baseless.

“Over the past six months, two women have been trying to extort millions of dollars each from me and my family,” his statement said. “I don’t pick fights, but I don’t run away from them either.”

The lawsuits were filed as the result of a California law that went into effect in 2020 that extends the statute of limitations that previously had prevented some victims of childhood sexual abuse from filing civil lawsuits.

Both women are seeking a jury trial and to be awarded an unspecified amount in damages.

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