Given his former career as a professional boxer, Floyd Mayweather is no stranger to making headlines for various bouts in the ring. But, sadly, in March 2020, it was his ex-girlfriend, Josie Harris, who was in the news after being found dead at her home in Valencia, Calif. on March 10, 2020. At the time of her death, she was just 40-years-old.
“Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station were called for a medical rescue in Valencia at 9:42 p.m. and found an unresponsive woman in a car parked in what investigators believe was her driveway, officials said,” according to NBC News. While the circumstances around her passing are still being investigated, “there does not appear to be any foul play and the case is being treated as a death investigation as opposed to a homicide probe,” according to TMZ.
While, at the time of this writing, Mayweather has yet to publicly comment on Harris’ passing, others are surely grieving the woman who was much more than just Mayweather’s ex.
Josie Harris was a mother
Josie Harris met Floyd Mayweather when she was 16 years old and the two reportedly started dating in 1995, per Hollywood Life. During their time together, the pair had three children, two sons named Koraun and Zion, as well as a daughter named Jirah.
Although Harris told VladTV that she had tried her “best to keep her family together,” her relationship with Mayweather was volatile and apparently involved violence. The two split after 15 years together during which time “Harris says she suffered physical abuse from the boxer on ‘six occasions,'” according to USA Today Sports. During the final incident in September 2010, “[i]t was the couple’s oldest son, Koraun, who slipped out of the house to alert a security guard to summon police.” Harris then sued Mayweather in 2015 for $20 million for allegedly “lying [about her] in an interview with Katie Couric” while talking about the circumstances surrounding the incident, according to The Blast. The case was set to go to trial on Dec. 7, 2020.
While Harris was willing to stand up for herself in court, she also did her best to stay away from Mayweather following their break-up. The exes even used a jet service to transport their children between their two homes so that they wouldn’t have to see each other. Although Harris obviously wanted to keep Mayweather out of her life, she was willing to let reality TV fans get a glimpse at how she lived.
You may have seen Josie Harris onscreen
Josie Harris might have been known as Floyd Mayweather’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of three of his children, however, she was also an aspiring actress who “had dreams of being on the big and small screen,” according to Hollywood Life. While she hadn’t found resounding success onscreen, Harris did play a character named Pat in 2006’s Exit 38, an “action-packed horror film” about an “elite unit of FBI agents [who are] hunting a conniving vampire in a small Nevada town.” Harris also made a one-time appearance on Good Day L.A., but you may remember her best from her stint as a reality TV star.
In 2013, Harris popped up on Starter Wives, which focused on “the fascinating and controversial world of celebrity ex-wives and ex-girlfriends.” The short-lived series also featured Liza Morales (former girlfriend of Lamar Odom), Shaniqua Tompkins (past romantic partner of 50 Cent), Monica Joseph-Taylor (Funkmaster Flex’s ex-wife), Tashera Simmons (who was married to DMX), and other women who also have children with their famous exes. “I was offered to do a few other shows and when TLC’s network brought [this] group of women together and it was a fit,” Harris told MadameNoire in 2013. “Like immediately off the bat I felt like these were my sisters. It felt like a sisterhood.”
Harris also strove to build another kind of sisterhood — one made up of survivors — after deciding that she wanted to use her past to help others.
Josie Harris wanted to use her past to help others
Along with pursuing an acting career, Josie Harris was also using her past struggles to help other domestic abuse survivors. “I was a battered woman,” she told USA Today Sports in 2014. “I felt embarrassed about saying I was a battered woman. I felt shame. I felt like it was my fault. What did I do? I didn’t understand what a battered woman was at that time. Now I know I was in a very dysfunctional, hostile relationship and a victim of domestic violence.”
“With time comes wisdom,” Harris continued. With that wisdom, she was reportedly working on a book that she hoped could be of use to others who have been the victim of domestic abuse. Sadly, it’s unclear if the book will ever be published.
However, there’s still help out there. If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. You can also find more information, resources, and support at www.thehotline.org.
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