Hulk Hogan is used to destroying foes in the wrestling ring, and now, he wants fans to know that he’s the one who’s crushed. The legendary wrestler sat down with ABC News for his first interview since being fired by the WWE after audio of him using racial slurs in a 2012 tape were revealed in late July, and confessed just how terrible he feels.
“I was at the lowest point of my life, to the point where I wanted to kill myself,” Hulk, born Terry Bollea, told ABC’s Amy Robach in the interview that aired Monday, Aug. 31.
“Everything I’ve done my whole career, my whole life, was like it never happened … like I never existed,” the 12-time world wrestling champion, now 62, added. “It was devastating.”
And while he’s known for his toughness in the ring, the former pro wants fans to know that the man behind Hulk is very different. “Please forgive me,” he begged fans. “I’m a nice guy … not the Hulk Hogan that rips his shirt off and — bang bang — slams giants. I’m Terry Bollea, I’m just a normal man.”
Hogan explained that he used the N-word in a moment of anger in reference to his daughter Brooke’s boyfriend, and he didn’t realize he was being taped. But never the less, he admitted that “it was wrong” and that he was embarrassed. “I’m not a racist,” the father of two insisted. “But a lot of people need to realize that you inherit things from your environment, and where I grew up in South Tampa, it was a rough neighborhood, very low income, and we greet each other saying that word. The word was just thrown around like it was nothing!”
One person who has stood by him throughout the scandal is his daughter, despite the fact that he used a derogatory term for her boyfriend. Brooke even defended her famous dad in the aftermath with a sweet poem about “his tender heart” that she posted to Facebook.
“If anybody should’ve disowned me, it should’ve been her,” an emotional Hogan told Robach. “She should’ve been the one to throw me out like trash, but instead, she showed more love than anybody.”
“Just because a person makes a mistake, don’t just throw them away,” he urged. “If everybody at their lowest point was judged on one thing they said, and all of a sudden your whole career was wiped out because of something you said 10 or 20 years ago, it’d be a sad world. People get better every day.”
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