Professional wrestler Triple H paid tribute to his ex-girlfriend and fellow WWE star Chyna (born Joan Marie Laurer) after she was found dead at age 46 in her Redondo Beach, California, home on Wednesday, April 20.
“Someone who wasn’t afraid to blaze her own trail & create a path for those who would follow. A pioneer whose star shined bright. #RIPChyna,” Triple H (whose real name is Paul Michael Levesque) wrote on Twitter on Thursday, April 21.
Chyna’s death was confirmed via her Twitter page on Wednesday evening with the message: “It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. … She will live forever in the memories of her millions of fans and all of us that loved her.”
“The Redondo Beach Police received a 911 call from a friend of the apartment unit resident that the female inside was not breathing,” the Police Department said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “The friend told Redondo Beach police that the female had not answered her phone in a few days, and went to the location to check on her welfare.” Officials are still investigating the cause of death.
Chyna and Triple H, who is now WWE’s executive vice president of talent, live events and creative, had a rocky, headline-making relationship in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. She was open about Triple H cheating on her with WWE executive Stephanie McMahon (the daughter of Vince and Linda McMahon), whom he later married in 2003. Chyna also made claims of physical abuse, which Triple H adamantly denied.
Stephanie also mourned Chyna’s death on Twitter. “I just heard the tragic news that @ChynaJoanLaurer has passed,” she wrote. “She was truly a pioneer in our industry, and she will be missed #RIPChyna.”
Chyna was a member of the D-Generation X wrestling squad. She often competed against men, and she was at one point the WWE Women’s Champion. After leaving the wrestling world in 2001, she wrote a bestselling book, If They Only Knew, and appeared in both adult films and reality shows such as The Surreal Life and Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.
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