Source: Simon Rothstein The Sun
WRESTLING legend Hulk Hogan was moments away from suicide as his life spiraled out of control.
The depressed star, with only rum and anti-depressants for company, put a gun in his mouth and came “pretty damn close” to pulling the trigger.
Only a phone call out of the blue from the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali snapped him out of it and inspired him to take a long hard look at himself and his life.
Hulk was once the man who had everything – a glittering grappling and TV career, gorgeous blond wife and two kids who worshiped him.
But in his new book, My Life Outside The Ring, the 56-year-old reveals how his world was turned upside down.
Wife Linda, 50, divorced him after 23 years of marriage – eventually winning a multi-million-pound settlement.
Daughter Brooke, now 21, was refusing to speak to him, believing her mum’s claims that he had cheated throughout the marriage.
And worst of all son Nick, 19, was facing jail after leaving his best friend in a vegetative state in a car crash, for which some blamed Hulk’s parenting.
Since January, WWE Hall Of Fame star Hogan has been back in the ring with rival wrestling firm TNA, appearing every Saturday night in the UK on Bravo.
He has found new love with stunning Jennifer McDaniel, 34, Nick is free and he has Brooke back cheering him on.
But he says if it wasn’t for that phone call from his then American Gladiators TV co-star Laila Ali, his millions of Hulkamaniacs fans would have lost their hero.
In the book, Hulk – real name Terry Bollea – remembers back to December 2007 and writes: “I’d been staring at myself in the bathroom mirror for two days straight. Two days.
“A gun was in my hand, my finger was on the trigger and I was thinking, ‘It would be so easy’.
“I just sat there, popping half a Xanax at a time – not the little pills, but those big horse-pill Xanax – and washing them down with the Captain Morgan rum I’d set on the counter.
“The house was empty. Too quiet. I don’t do well alone. My kids were gone. My wife was gone. She had left before, but this was different. She didn’t want to fix things. She’d filed for divorce.
“My mind kept running through it over and over. My daughter thinks I’m the reason Linda left. She won’t talk to me.
“My thoughts drifted to my son, Nick. Nearly fourth months had passed since he got into that terrible car accident. Every day since the details of that August night played over and over in my mind.
“It’s not often that a man can pinpoint the moment when life as he knew it began to unravel. For me, it was just after 7.30pm on the night of August 26, 2007.”
On that day Nick and best pal John Graziano – who Hogan describes as “like a member of my family” – went driving in Hulk’s yellow Supra car.
The vehicle spun and hit a tree backwards, leaving Nick with minor injuries, but John with a cracked skull and needing medical care for the rest of his life.
Nick was later indicted on four criminal charges and sentenced to eight months’ jail, of which he served five.
In his book – released yesterday – Hogan says he sat there remembering the details of the crash, then: “I pressed the gun to my cheek. I tried not to look in the mirror.
“In between flashbacks I kept obsessing about Linda. How could she leave in the middle of all this. How could she? I even turned the pity on myself. I’m a mess. I’m in so much pain. My hip. My knees.
“I don’t even know if I can wrestle any more. What the hell am I gonna do? My back hurts so bad I have to sit just to brush my teeth. In this damned chair. Right here. Look at me.
“I could feel the life draining out of me. I could feel myself bleeding. That’s what it felt like, bleeding. Not from a cut on my body, but a wound somewhere deeper.
“It had me curling my index finger on the trigger of a loaded handgun and putting it in my mouth.
“I hit bottom and I stayed there for two straight days.
“That voice in my head would not stop, ‘Maybe I should do it. Only cowards commit suicide. My family would be better off without me. What about the kids. I’m gonna do this. Just pull the trigger. Why not end it. Just do it Hogan. Do it’.”
Hulk – a 12-time world heavyweight champion in wrestling and star of hit reality show Hogan Knows Best – continues: “I kept my finger pressed right to that trigger the whole time.
“Just three pounds of pressure is all it would take – nothing for these big hands of mine.
“I remember how it tasted when I put the barrel in my mouth, the sound it made when the metal clicked against my teeth.
“It was real weird behavior, like I was psyching myself up to do the deed.
“I was so depressed I just kept thinking, ‘This would be so easy’.
“Add to that the haze of the pills and the booze and it’s some sort of miracle that the gun just didn’t go off.
“Heck, the tips of my fingers are still numb from a wrestling accident in the 1990s, which means I probably could have pulled that trigger without even knowing I’d done it. Boom! The end.
“Then my phone rang. I didn’t recognise the number. It was Laila Ali. This girl I barely knew picked up on the Gladiators set that I was having a real hard time.
“Days had gone by and she was still thinking about it.
“I’d met her dad a bunch of times – he was guest referee at the first WrestleMania – and here his daughter is calling me up to see how I’m doing.
“For some reason that phone call snapped me out it.
“I’ve never told her this, and she might not even understand the depth of the impact she had on me, but Laila Ali saved my life.”
Read the original article here: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/wrestling/2917661/The-night-Hulk-Hogan-hit-rock-bottom-I-took-pills-and-rum-put-a-gun-in-my-mouth-and-thought-pull-the-trigger.html#ixzz0jx6uoYmj
Source: Simon Rothstein The Sun