When we talk about wrestling legends, there are few stars who can hold a candle to Hulk Hogan. Sure, he wasn’t always the greatest in ring worker from a purist’s perspective, rumors abound about him doing some nasty things politically backstage, and his personal life has led to all manner of controversy in the last five years or so. But when you think about drawing power and longevity, this is the guy who stood tall as the definitive icon of the most popular periods in wrestling history from the 1980s into the early 1990s. Take that decade of performance that, good or bad, was fundamentally important to the wrestling business and add onto it his WCW run, featuring playing one of the best heels of another of wrestling hottest periods, heading up the New World Order in the late 1990s, and you have a career in wrestling that no one can dismiss.
For as much of an icon as Hogan is, however, he does have his baggage in his personal life. There was the recording of him using a racist word over and over again, and there was the sex tape to name two particularly public issues. Before any scandal really hit, though, Hogan also drew his family into the spotlight when he agreed to the reality series Hogan Knows Best. The show went a long way toward making not only The Hulkster, and his would-be musician daughter Brooke into celebrities, but also his son Nick and his then-wife Linda.
As the family’s notoriety rose, the public started to question the nature of their relationships, and particularly if some of the Hogans might be a little too close. This article looks at fifteen photos might cause suspicions.
15. The Hulkster And His Daughter In The Pool
For long time wrestling fans, the fact that Hulk Hogan has an attractive daughter can, in and of itself, be uncomfortable. But the fact that not only we, but The Hulkster himself are checking her out when she wears a two-piece? Now that’s downright disturbing.
As other photos in this article will show, Hulk tends to exhibit what might be classified as a slightly less than normal relationship with his daughter, Brooke. It’s nothing unusual for father to lovingly look after his daughter. However, when that daughter is scantily clad and her dear old dad is right by her side (not to mention that he’s not wearing much himself) it makes you start to wonder if this family really has grown too close for comfort.
14. Nick And Linda By The Water
While it’s the father and daughter relationship of the Hogan family that tends to get the most flack from outsiders, there’s a mother and son relationship that gives folks some pause as well. Consider this picture, capturing Nick Hogan with his mother, Linda, out on the water in nothing but their bathing suits.
Linda wearing a two piece at this stage of life may come across as a questionable choice. Wearing that bikini and holding her bare chested son close for a photo is even less comfortable for any of us looking on. Linda has a drink in hand, too (cropped out), suggesting that she may be working her way toward an inebriated state and not making the best of decisions following the moment when this photo was taken.
13. Hulk Applies Some Lotion
In what may be the single most infamous photo of Hulk Hogan and his daughter Brooke, he was caught in the act of applying sun tan lotion to her. Putting lotion on a relative in and of itself may not creep out anyone. However, there are several additional factors worth considering that tend to sketch out fans.
Yes, The Hulkster is bare chested himself, but that’s fair given that they’re hanging out poolside. Brooke is in a pretty skimpy two piece swimsuit, which raises some alarms given she’s hanging out with her old man. And then there’s Hulk’s hand placement. He’s poised over Brooke’s body as she lays on her stomach, and he clearly his hand on, or at least near, her butt–a super creepy image for an aging father and his attractive young daughter.
12. It’s A Family Affair
In 2005, VH1 began airing Hogan Knows Best, a reality television series based on wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, his wife Linda, his daughter the budding musician Brooke, and his son Nick. The photo above might get dismissed as a simple family portrait, and we can readily enough dismiss the group of them being huddled up close as them being a tight family, not to mention squeezing into frame for a publicity shot.
It is however, a bit unusual for Brooke to assume her posturing, particularly that arm almost seductively draped over her own brother. Some readers might say that reading that posturing as anything seductive is pushing it, but bear in mind that a publicity photo like this would have been taken by a professional who would have taken plenty of shots. This photo suggests that that was Brooke’s natural way of holding her brother close, or else the producers wanted to sell her sexuality that way, either of which are pretty off in the immediate context.
11. Brooke Loves Her Father
There’s nothing objectively wrong with the fact that Hulk Hogan and his daughter Brooke seem to love one another. They are family, and you can expect the two of them to have a deep connection, and to care deeply about one another. However, it can be less than comfortable to see the way that Brooke clings to her father in photos like the one above.
The Hulkster isn’t exactly pushing his daughter away, either. A photo like this would make total sense for a romantic couple who can’t keep their hands off of each other and, if anything, are eager to have their photo taken. Given that this is a father and daughter pair, however, leads fans down a different train of thought–namely that the Hogan clan may be a little bit too close for comfort.
10. Brooke Joined Her Dad In TNA
As much as Hulk Hogan’s intimacy with his daughter might give some people pause, you can’t fault him for trying to win her extra opportunities. One of the major running story lines of the Hogan Knows Best reality series saw Hulk continually trying to bolster Brooke’s music career, including using his fame and connections to get her ins with famous producers, or to get her performance opportunities.
Years later, when The Hulkster found his way to TNA, he brought his daughter along there, too, landing her first regularly appearing role with a wrestling company. While Hulk had a heel run, the two of them would end up both being booked as faces. Brooke was an authority figure for the women’s division for a time, and later cast as Bubba Ray Dudley’s girlfriend (only to be jilted when Dudley turned on both her and her father).
Brooke always came across as a square peg trying to fit in a round hole with TNA–not natural in her position, and with no real wrestling credibility of her own to explain why she’d be a part of the show. This photo shows her in the center of her most prominent storyline with Dudley, oddly physically restraining her father from her kayfabe boyfriend.
9. Nick And Brooke Don’t Look Like Brother And Sister
It’s not wrong for a brother and sister to be close or for them to pose closely for pictures. However, there’s something about Brooke Hogan and her brother Nick that tends to come across less like a brother and sister hanging out, and more like the two of them are a couple when they’re photographed together.
Maybe it’s Brooke’s short cut, provocative dress. Maybe it’s the disaffected, dopey, loving look in Nick’s eyes. Regardless, in pictures like this one, the brother and sister pair look more like they’re a romantic couple Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the photo feeds into the broader suggestion that maybe the Hogan clan is a little too close, and could consider putting a bit of distance between their bodies for photos in the future.
8. Hulk And Linda In The Water
The time of Hulk and Linda Hogan being happily married to one another is a distant memory at this point after their very public divorce and all of the controversy swirling around Hulk in the aftermath. However, there was a time when, at least in the public eye, the two seemed to be very happy and loving toward one another.
This photo captures the two in apparent marital bliss. On one hand, it’s nice to see a couple well into middle age still active and out having fun together. On the other hand, seeing a pair of near fifty years olds soaking wet in nothing but their bathing suits, pressing their bodies up against one another at a public beach isn’t exactly something many folks are clamoring to see. While you can make the argument the Hogans weren’t necessarily too close in this picture, they at least showed questionable judgment about their public displays of affection with one another.
7. Where Is Your Hand, Hulk?
There’s no shortage of images of Brooke Hogan positing with her father at various publicity events or awards shows. That the two would attend these events together is understandable for a daughter who is trying to break into show business, and supportive father who happens to be a very recognizable celebrity himself. However, photos like the one above do churn up some questions.
First of all, there’s Brooke’s choice in attire. At least on Hogan Knows Best, The Hulkster was all to eager to rein in Brooke as a sex symbol and push for a more whole some image. A midriff baring, partially see through outfit like this therefore seems like a questionable choice. All the more so, with Brooke cuddled up close to her dad, he seems to be gesturing toward her body. Maybe he’s just trying to focus attention on his daughter, but the hand conspicuously seems to be pointed toward, at best, her abs, and more so toward her lower anatomy. Pretty creepy for a dad.
6. Brooke Likes Muscles
And so we arrive at another photo for which, if Brooke Hogan and her father were dating, we could readily accept this pairing of young starlet and her old boyfriend. But no, this is an image of Brooke and Hulk, a daughter and her dad. In it, Hulk’s right hand clutches Brooke’s bare midriff to hold her close to his body.
Hulk’s other arm is flexed into an admittedly impressive bicep pose, which is traditional enough for The Hulkster who used to flex his biceps to big cheers from wrestling fans in arenas across the country. There’s something odd, however, about Brooke’s silly smile, which seems to suggest she almost flirtatiously awed by her dad’s big muscles. The poses for this photo are clearly staged, the family all too aware of the cameras on them, and it’s interesting that they’d choose to present themselves in this particular fashion.
5. Brooke And Nick, At It Again
Show this photo to someone who is not familiar with the Hogan family, and they will probably indicate it looks like a photo of a young couple posed together. While neither Brooke or Nick are doing anything particularly provocative in this shot, Brooke is leaning into him a bit while Nick has his arm wrapped around her. The photos depicts the two as teenagers and, as such, at a time when you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be cuddling close to each other.
It’s great that the Hogan family is close, and that Brooke has gone so far as to stand by the men in her family when they’ve undergone controversies in recent years. Whether you agree with or defend what they’ve done or not, family loyalty is nonetheless not a bad thing. Photos like this continue to make onlookers scratch their heads, though, for the family appearing a little too close.
4. Hulk With His New Wife And His Daughter
While quite a few aspects of Hulk Hogan’s personal life have come under the microscope in recent years, news about his second marriage has been relatively quiet. He started dating Jennifer McDaniel shortly after his divorce from Linda and the pair got married in 2010.
Jennifer is about 25 years younger than Hogan’s previous wife, who was a few years older than him. It may be little wonder then, how much closer in age she looks to Brooke Hogan in this photo. To be fair, she’s still fourteen years Brooke’s senior, meaning that while she doesn’t exactly look like she’s Brooke’s mom, nor does she necessarily look like she’d be Hulk’s daughter either.
In this photo, the two attractive women each seem to be coming at the elderly Hulkster. While kisses on his cheek may be relatively demure, the idea of the two of them cozying up to him on the couch as depicted is nonetheless a little disturbing.
3. The Hogan Family At The Teen Choice Awards
That the Hogans would go out to awards shows together isn’t a problem. That the family would pose for photos at the Teen Choice Awards in particular made sense, especially when Hogan Knows Best was at the height of its popularity. Moreover, Hulk and his family’s efforts to get his daughter’s music career off the ground, the Teen Choice Awards in particular make sense as a venue they would all want to target.
This photo is not so comfortable. Yes, it’s another case of Brooke being scantily clad and her father holding her creepily close. Even more troubling, though, is the cry for help evident in Nick’s expression and posture. He looks like he’d rather be anywhere else, as his sister holds him close and his mother eagerly pushes in, beaming with pride from his other side.
2. The Hulkster Reaches For Linda
While there are certainly more salacious images floating around on the Internet than this one of the Hogan family, including Hulk and Linda, this photo nonetheless seems to capture something particularly uncomfortable. Hulk awkwardly closes the distance between his director’s chair and Linda’s to put a hand on her leg. The shot looks posed, calculated to show the two as affectionate partners, with Linda’s hand, in turn, resting on top of Hulk’s.
In addition to the seemingly staged nature of the picture, there’s something disconcerting about people this age–again, each pushing fifty at the time the photo was taken–engaging in excessive PDA and doing so in a moment that’s anything but private. This moment looks contrived for the very purpose of convincing us of a dynamic most fans would probably just as soon not be clued into to begin with.
1. Look At The Happy Couple
We close with this shot of the gruff older man in his bandana and sunglasses, looking something like a biker, holding close his pretty and much younger girlfriend. She has hand affectionately touching his chest and an innocent smile. The image might not agree with all of our cultural norms but in a free country, it’s fair enough for people to love who they’re going to love and date who they’re going to date.
Except this isn’t a romantic couple. It’s the most famous professional wrestler in the world, Hulk Hogan and he’s posed with his daughter, Brooke.
Maybe we could reframe this photo as a proud and protective father holding his daughter close, and a woman young and unencumbered enough to unabashedly lean into her father. I’m sure the Hogans would rather that we view it that way. Regardless, this image is, at first blush suggestive that these family members are just too close to one another.
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