It takes guts to go through a heartbreaking split on national television, and Nikki Bella has misgivings about airing her breakup with fiancé John Cena on her and twin sister Brie Bella’s E! reality show Total Bellas.
“The one thing I really regret about showcasing the breakup is that no one got to hear [John’s] voice, and it just seemed so one-sided,” Nikki, 36, tells Health magazine of the pair’s 2018 split. “I felt like that wasn’t fair to him because he was on this journey with us from the beginning.”
She goes on: “What people don’t realize is that John never took one paycheck from Total Bellas. It was beautiful — he was fully there to support me. I’ll never forget his support and his love. That’s what made me sad — I don’t want to say it became the Nikki show, but in a way it did because you didn’t get to see John anymore.”
Nikki started dating the wrestler, 35, in 2012, and they got engaged in 2017. Us Weekly exclusively broke the news of their first split in April 2018. They briefly reconciled weeks later before parting ways for good in July 2018.
“I thought she made a big mistake!” Brie, 36, says of her sister’s breakup in the Health interview. “They were just such a lovely couple, and I thought they were such a perfect match. Because I’m married, I felt like there are ups and downs in relationships, and you work on things — you don’t just give up. But then, after the breakup, I started seeing that they both wanted different things. So then I approved of the breakup.”
Adds Nikki: “My family loves John. I love John — he’s such an amazing person. The timing was off.”
These days, Cena is dating Shay Shariatzadeh and Nikki is in a relationship with Dancing With the Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev, who was her partner during the ABC reality show’s 25th season.
“Artem is the first person I’ve been with where I feel like I can be Nicole and never fear he’s going to leave me for it,” she tells the mag. “We all have a little crazy in us, and he loves my crazy.”
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