Oscar De La Hoya’s career has been marred by controversy with many issues outside of the ring.
The Mexican’s drug and alcohol problems have been discussed openly, with the Golden Boy Promoter admitting that his first drink came at the age of 8.
While that may have been the case, one scandal, in particular, had a bigger impact on the former world champion. In 2007, photos were leaked showing De La Hoya cross-dressing.
The initial perception was that the pictures had been doctored. However, it transpired that a Serbian dancer by the name of Milana Dravnel had leaked them.
And the boxer recalled the mass damage this had done to his reputation in his documentary, ‘The Golden Boy.’
“The lingerie, the this and that. I’ll tell you what. We got that girl from New York that leaked those photos. I’m not going to get into it, but we found her somewhere in [Lake Atitlán, Guatemala] hiding out and she said the truth of exactly what happened.
“Apparently there were like three girls there. I have no recollection. I was just loaded. I can’t remember. I was drugged up, drinking, this and that,” De La Hoya
As a result, De La Hoya set about trying to reduce the impact of the photos. This included paying mass sums of money to prevent them from getting out.
An alleged payment of up to $20 million was made to Dravnel in order to suppress the photos.
But given that the images were leaked, De La Hoya sued Dravnel for defamation and the subsequent distress that was caused.
Although an out-of-court settlement was made, the damage had been done.
“[My team] told me this story about the Russian mob and this and that and [how] we gotta pay millions of dollars. I’m like, ‘Yeah, well, just make it go away.
It’s gonna ruin my image. It’s gonna ruin who the Golden Boy is and people are gonna hate me. Just make it go away.’ Apparently, they paid all this money, but yet the photos still leaked,” De La Hoya
You can catch the documentary on HBO which will air on July 24th, 2023.