Dwayne The Rock Johnson Opens Up About Being Arrested As Kid

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 17 Feb 2021 08:00
Dwayne The Rock Johnson Opens Up About Being Arrested As KidPA

While these days Dwayne The Rock Johnson is the gentle giant we all know and love from his movies, it seems he may not have always been on the right side of the law when he was younger.

A new TV show about The Rock is set to dive into the star’s past, before he was launched to fame as a WWE wrestler. Young Rock takes us back to Johnson’s upbringing in Hawaii and elsewhere, moving between 13 different states when he was a kid, and explores his teenage, rebellious years.


Nowadays, Johnson is one of the world’s highest-paid actors, but for a while during his upbringing, no one would’ve predicted the path he eventually took.

Dwayne JohnsonPA

Johnson told The Sun:

My life was incredibly complicated and it was incredibly tough growing up.

Thirteen is when I started to veer off the tracks. I started getting arrested for fighting, theft, all kinds of stupid [stuff] that I shouldn’t have been doing.

We would target the money, we would target the high-end clothes and we would target the jewellery — turn around and sell it.


Though his dad Rocky Johnson was a World Wrestling Federation champion before him, Johnson’s family often struggled to make ends meet, which is why he would turn to petty theft, targeting wealthy tourists in Hawaii and designer stores.

When he was just 15, Johnson and his mum were evicted from their flat. ‘We come home and there’s a padlock on the door and an eviction notice. My mum starts bawling. I’ll never forget the feeling,’ he said.

Dwayne Johnson Dany GarciaPA Images

Johnson was sent to live with a friend of his dad, Bruno Lauer, in Tennessee. Years later, he repaid Lauer with a brand new truck.


Though the move allowed him a new start and ignited a passion for body building, Johnson was still not on the straight and narrow, saying he’d been arrested ‘eight or nine times’ for theft, fraud and fighting, among other offences, by the time he was 17. The Rock admitted he was ‘a kid who had some anger issues but also thought he was really cool’.

Of course, Johnson turned his life around, first winning a football scholarship to the University of Miami and dabbling in the NFL before turning to the WWF, now the WWE, where his superstardom really took off.

Young Rock premiered last night, February 16, on NBC.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Celebrity, Arrest, Dwayne Johnson, Film, Hawaii, The Rock, WWE


The Sun
  1. The Sun

    ROCKY START The Rock Dwayne Johnson reveals he was arrested for fighting, theft and ‘stupid stuff’ ahead of Young Rock sitcom