Kellie Maloney was forced to threaten the press with an injunction after one publication tried to expose her.
The boxing veteran – who managed Lennox Lewis during her 32-year-long career – revealed that she has been living as a woman for a year in an interview with The Mirror. She also said she plans to undergo gender reassignment.
But, she says, she only made the announcement after pressure from the media to do so.
In her first televised interview as a woman, she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that one journalist turned up her door in February and told her that the story of her transition would run that Sunday.
"I wanted to transition very privately because of my family," she told presenter Susanna Reid. "They're going through a lot as well and I wanted them protected.
"Unfortunately, someone exposed me at a group I was going to. I was indoors and one day you get that dreaded knock on the door. It was a journalist – I won't say from which paper. Obviously I denied all knowledge of it and they said they were going to run the story on the Sunday so I got my lawyers involved and we had to threaten injunctions. That had been going on in February and we kept it under control."
More recently, a different publication began doorstepping the houses of both her and other family members. The 61-year-old promoter has three children.
"Six weeks ago another newspaper turned up at my house, and then they turned up at my daughter's house, they turned up at all members of my family's house," she said. "I spoke with my lawyer and a couple of people who have been very good to me and I said, 'Look, I'm living in a shadow. I'm living in the dark. I can't go out of my house no more. I'm terrified.'
"I started switching back to Kellie and Frank and my head was getting so confused about it.
"They said: 'We need to find a paper that would be very friendly' and I said I'd only do this as long as I've got control because previously transgender people have been ridiculed in the press and I didn't want that to happen to me and I didn't want that to happen to others."
She describes the announcement as a "big release" and afterwards had her ears pierced because she "can do anything now".
Although having known from an early age about her identity, she decided to keep it a secret because she "feared being seen a freak, a pervert". Her family have been supportive – including her ex-wife, Tracey.
"We're separate and now divorced but she my wife has been very supportive," she said. "We're friends and soulmates still... I've got a great team of support round me."