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Mark Hunt opens up on childhood trauma, abuse and rape

UFC heavyweight fan favourite Mark Hunt reveals the shocking childhood he was forced to endure in the urban area of South Auckland, New Zealand.

Mark Hunt - Esther Lin
Mark Hunt - Esther Lin

Given the soft-spoken, humble nature of heavyweight legend Mark Hunt, it's difficult to believe "The Super Samoan" had ever endured such a traumatic childhood.

In his new book "Born to Fight", and an interview with Stephen Lacey of stuff.co.nz, the 41-year-old opened up on the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father in his home of South Auckland, New Zealand.

Hunt says his father, now deceased, subjected the child to extreme psychological and physical trauma. The former K-1 world champion recalled how he'd be tied up and whipped with an apple branch or broom handle.

"That meant no school for three weeks, so that was okay," he laughs. "My old man was ruthless. He terrorised us. He'd start with the mental games before he even found the implements to hit us with. He once tied me up in the garage with my hands above my head and beat me with a frigging broom handle. I got away and my brothers came after me. They said fucking get back there or we're all gonna get it."

Despite regular beatings from his father, Hunt got off relatively lightly compared to his older sister Victoria. His sister recollected the twelve years of rape and sexual abuse she went through before moving out at the age of 18.

"It happened nearly every day," she says. "If I refused to have sex with my father he would take it out on my brothers. I mothered Mark; he was the youngest and I was his protector, there was no one else."

The father was arrested at one point after someone from Victoria's school notified the police, but was later released from police custody due to lack of evidence. She says he threatened to kill her if she disobeyed him again. "He said if you open your mouth again I will kill you."

Hunt, who doesn't remember much about Victoria's sexual exploitation, says he would take his anger out on other kids in the street, and became somewhat of a bully.

"Yes I was a bully," Hunt agrees. "But the scrapping on the streets was my way of dealing with the anger I felt towards my parents. Home was never a safe place for me. I felt safer on the streets."

Check out the full, damning account of Mark Hunt's childhood abuse in the interview here.