(CNN) When boxing star Mike Tyson was convicted of rape in February 1992, Donald Trump called the verdict a "travesty" in an interview with Howard Stern and said it was actually Tyson who was the subject of physical advances from women.
The GOP nominee — who is facing widespread criticism for his 2005 comments on a hot-mic in which he describes forcing himself on women — went after Hillary Clinton at the debate on Sunday for defending an accused child rapist as his court-appointed attorney in 1975.
Trump vigorously and very publicly defended Tyson during his rape trial in early 1992, proposing that Tyson be allowed to pay off victim Desiree Washington with money from future boxing fights instead of serving time in prison. Speaking with "NBC Nightly News" on Feb. 21, 1992, he said Tyson was "railroaded in the case" and suggested the victim wasn't a victim at all. Trump also told "New York" magazine Tyson relayed to him that the victim "wanted it real bad."
In a February 1992 interview on the "Howard Stern Show" reviewed by CNN's KFile, Trump lamented how the rape accusation had affected Tyson.
"It's so sad because I've known Mike more or less from the beginning," said Trump. "He started off having his first fights at my place and he's had his biggest fights at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. He was so incredible and the last few years he's just not been the same — number one he's not been the same fighter, he's not been the same man, he's not been the same anything."
"The truth is he's been very loyal to me, he has most of his fights at my places," added Trump. "He does best at my places in terms of his best fights and he's been great and I just hate to see what's happened to him. It's a travesty, it's a travesty."
Trump also told Stern that he never saw Tyson touch a women inappropriately but that he did observe women groping Tyson.
"I've seen women going around touching him," said Trump with a laugh. "He walks in a room and the women start grabbing him and grabbing his ass and grabbing anything else they can grab on him."
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request to comment on Tyson for this story.
Trump touted Tyson's support in Indiana earlier this year, the state where Tyson was convicted.
"Mike Tyson endorsed me," Trump said. "I love it. He sent out a tweet. Mike. Iron Mike. You know, all the tough guys endorse me. I like that, OK?"
Trump and Tyson's friendship dates back to the 1980s. Trump's 1990s book, "Surviving at the Top," featured a chapter on the duo titled "Iron Mike and Me."
In the 1992 Stern interview, Trump explained his plan to keep Tyson out of jail.
"My concept is for the state of Indiana, maybe $20 million, a lot of money," Trump said. "The proceeds from his next fight, his next two fights for rape victims, and I think that's a lot better than having Mike Tyson serve jail for 10 years or something. I think it's gonna do a lot more in terms of a cause."