The actress recalls their former relationship in the documentary 'The Golden Boy'
Years later, Oscar De La Hoya and Shanna Moakler are revisiting their complicated and drama-filled relationship.
Before she married Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker in 2004, the actress and former model dated boxer De La Hoya. And in the new documentaryThe Golden Boy: Oscar De La Hoya, Moakler recalls first meeting the boxing legend in 1997: “I saw this man walk by me and all these people were around him. It was so crazy. We just looked at each other and I knew I met a soulmate.”
Eventually, both Moakler and De La Hoya moved in together and became engaged, with Moakler giving birth to their daughter, Atiana. But the relationship became marred by accusations from other women about De La Hoya’s alleged infidelity and sexual assault, and the couple broke off their engagement in 2000.
Moakler was one of several people interviewed for the candid, Fernando Villena-directed film (which aired on HBO in two parts, with the second, including Moakler's interviews, airing Tuesday night), spotlighting the career and tumultuous personal life of the boxer.
De La Hoya, who is of Mexican descent, says in the doc that Moakler was the first American woman he ever dated. “Beautiful, blonde-haired girl,” he recalls in a separate interview about first seeing her. “Tall, slender, it was like a silhouette.”
“He was fun,” says Moakler. “He always made me feel so beautiful. I fell in love with him.”
As their relationship progressed, De La Hoya eventually revealed that he had two children with two other women, along with their daughter. Fatherhood weighed on him. “To be a father is a huge responsibility,” he says in The Golden Boy. “I just didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t know how to be a parent. And my answer was to drink.”
“His drinking was always an issue for me,” adds Moakler, “because he really does become a different person when he drinks. Even now when I look back on it, I didn’t want to believe it…even though I was living it.”
Moakler also recalls getting phone calls from women alleging that they slept with her now-fiancé, De La Hoya. She says that she didn’t believe them, thinking that they were only after his money.
“I would chase him down in the nightclubs,” she adds, “and security guards would see me and they would rush him out the backdoor so I couldn't catch him. He would always tell me, 'No, I love you.' ”
Then Moakler heard about a woman alleging that De La Hoya raped her in Mexico in 1998. “Things like that started to happen,” says Moakler in The Golden Boy. “I stood by him because I didn’t believe any of it.” (In archival footage, De La Hoya called that accusation “false”; a civil suit regarding the alleged incident was settled out of court in 2001).
There was another accusation against Moakler’s fiancé in the form of an incident that allegedly took place in the couple’s residence in 1999. “We were spending Christmas in Palm Springs,” Moakler says. “His friends were having a party at our house in Bel Air. So he left and went to that party, and I was really hurt. This is Christmas. And then another woman accused him of rape in our home.” (Per the documentary, no criminal charges were filed in that particular case).
De La Hoya’s pursuit of a music career would lead to the end of his and Moakler’s relationship. The final straw for Moakler happened when she watched the Latin Grammys telecast and saw De La Hoya on the red carpet holding hands with Puerto Rican singer Mille Corretjer. De La Hoya later says in The Golden Boy: “When I did take her [Millie] to the Grammys, for some apparent reason, Shanna thought I was still with her.”
However, Moakler maintains today that she and De La Hoya were still together at the time, and remembers confronting him about the Latin Grammys incident. “The next day, he got in the car with me. I just said, ‘Why did you do that? He looked at me dead in the face and goes 'I don’t love you anymore.' "
“He goes, ‘Shanna, I have more money than God.’ And he got out of the car and he came over to the window where I was sitting there, bawling. He knocked on the window and he goes, ‘Don’t be too hard on me.’ Nothing he said to me was the truth.”
De La Hoya married Corretjer in 2001 and the couple gave birth to three children: Oscar Jr., Nina and Victoria.
They separated in 2016, and the former boxer is currently dating sports broadcaster Holly Sonders, who stood by him amid a 2022 lawsuit brought against De La Hoya alleging sexual assault and battery.
As shown in the documentary, De La Hoya, now a boxing promoter, has spent his time reestablishing his relationships with his three older children, Jacob, Atiana and Devon, after being an absent father when they were growing up.
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Despite the drama that led to their breakup, De La Hoya and Moakler are cordial now. “He and I actually went to dinner not that long ago,” Moakler says towards the end of the film.
“He said, ‘You didn’t deserve that. I’m truly, truly sorry for humiliating you and hurting you.’ It was sincere and it was like this glimmer of my friend back. I hadn’t seen that since he had left me in that car. But I still think he’s a work in progress."
Part two of The Golden Boy airs at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.
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