A tearful Hulk Hogan finally broke his silence this morning on the racism row which has seen him fired from WWE and all but erased from pro-wrestling history.
The 62-year-old Hogan, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) star in the history of WWE, told Good Morning America that he’s now at an all time low after footage was leaked of him ranting about his daughter Brooke dating a black man, in which he frequently used the n-word.
The 12-time world champion pleaded for forgiveness in the interview, from both the general public and from his daughter, for the racist tirade. Hogan, real-name Terry Bollea, even broke down in tears at the mention of his daughter’s role in the controversy.
Hogan then went on to blame his upbringing in a rough Tampa, Florida neighbourhood for the language he used.
I’m not a racist, I never should have said what I said. It was wrong. I’m embarrassed by it.
A lot of people need to realize that you inherit things from your environment. And where I grew up, Port Tampa, was a really rough neighbourhood, very low income. And all my friends, we greeted each other saying that word. The word was just thrown around like it was nothing. I think that was part of the culture and the environment I grew up in.
Hogan also claimed he was left suicidal by the fallout from the scandal, which resulted in the termination of his contract with World Wrestling Entertainment and his removal from the company’s Hall of Fame.
I was completely broken and destroyed and said, ‘What’s the easiest way out of this?’ I mean, I was lost. I’ve worked for the WWE for almost 30 years off and on, and then all of a sudden, everything I’ve done my whole career and my whole life was like it never happened.
Just because a person makes a mistake, just don’t throw them away. You don’t throw good people away. People get better every day.
Hogan is currently seeking $100 million (£65m) from Gawker for posting part of the sex tape featuring him and Heather Cole, the ex-wife of Hogan’s one-time friend and radio show host Bubba the Love Sponge, believed to have been recorded in 2006 or 2007. Hogan’s racial slurs were caught on camera in the full video.