Hulk Hogan rallies Hulkamaniacs, talks to Gimme Noise

Categories: Q&A
In a world where everyone from Balloon Boy to Jon Gosselin can be considered a celebrity, there are very few people who can still be considered legitimate pop-culture icons. Hulk Hogan is among that group.

This past Friday, hundreds of Hulkamaniacs of all ages packed the Mall of America to meet the man as he stopped by to sign copies of his new memoirs, My Life Outside the Ring.

Before he let Hulkamania run wild on the M.O.A., however, the Hulkster sat down with Gimme Noise to talk about his relationship with the tabloids, his family, wrestling and Rocky 3.

Gimme Noise: In your new book, you definitely pull back the curtain and pulled no punches in terms of talking about your life. At any point while you were writing the book did you think that, as a guy who has spent over 20 years as a role model and an icon to so many people, that maybe you were exposing a little too much about your life, and making yourself a little too vulnerable?

Hulk Hogan: Well brother things change, you know? You try to go with the flow. Back in the 90's when all of the steroid talk broke everyone started panicking and asking each other, "Oh no! How do we handle this?" Same thing with wrestling. Back in the early days if someone told you it was fake you'd slap the hell out of them. What I'm saying is that everyone has been reeducated and changed their mindset.

In terms of why I wrote the book, it got to the point where - I don't want to say it was forced - but I almost had to write it because several things were all happening at once. With the divorce, I was just getting barraged with something new every day. I had my wife's publicist and lawyer saying things about me in the press and finally, after about four months of staying silent, people were telling me, "Hogan, if you don't speak up soon you're not going to have a career left." So I went on Larry King and I did an interview with People to try to clear the air, and then I kind of did a volley with the tabloids for a couple of weeks. They would stay stuff like, "Your wife says you beat her up for 23 years," and this, that and the other. Next thing I know she's filing a restraining order against me, and then she's claiming that I'm stalking her 18-year-old boyfriend and the cops actually arrested me at one point because of it. They did the whole thing where they threw me on the ground and said I was violating a restraining order before realizing there was no truth to the matter, and then they picked me up and let me go. But next thing I know, it's all over the tabloids that I was stalking my wife and I got arrested and all that.

So finally I decided to write the book to say that I'm over the tabloid thing and that I was done with this back and forth volley thing we had going on. And really, this book isn't just my way of saying, "Oh life is tough but you can get through it." I'm telling people that I really bottomed out and this stuff wasn't a game. This wasn't a dress rehearsal, man; this shit really happened. I went down the tubes. Bad. I lost everything I had financially and lost my family in a really short amount of time.

GN: When you say you went down the tubes, how did it all go so wrong so quickly?

HH: For a while it seemed like just when things had become the worst they could possibly be, something else would happen. Perfect example is when the prison tapes between me and my son were released. I mean, we knew that they were recording our conversation for security purposes, but no one ever said they were going to be released for public consumption. You never hear the OJ tapes or the Paris Hilton tapes, but suddenly our conversation was being replayed every two minutes and everyone wanted to talk about it and point fingers about what we were talking about. The bottom line with that was that those conversations were about me trying to talk to my son who was sitting in solitary confinement - where most people don't last even three days but he stayed for 28 days - and trying to keep him from  doing something like biting his own tongue off or eating his own feces in that cell. So I was saying things like, "Hey brother, we're going to go to the beach when you get out and maybe we'll do a reality show," and talking to him about the laws of attraction.

And then we got to talking about John, the kid in the accident. I mean, he lived with us and we loved him, but he had problems. He treated gay people a certain way. He treated black people a certain way. We were trying to straighten him out, and I was trying to tell Nick that God must have laid some heavy stuff down because of all that other stuff and then that all got turned around on me. That's why I finally decided to just sit down and write this book so I could just tell you everything without holding back. Period.

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