Hulk Hogan is arguably the greatest wrestler to ever live. But like so many other WWE Superstars, his love life was never something to take for granted.
He married Linda Claridge in 1983, and the two seemed to have everything. They had two children together, kept their marriage intact while he toured the world and of course made millions. They even got their own reality show. Hogan was easily the most beloved wrestler of the '80s and for much of the '90s. He and Linda, however, had problems in their marriage when she filed for divorce in 2007.
The two have said bitter things about each other since the divorce. There's no denying that these two will always have ugly feelings, despite spending 25 years of marriage together. Even though the divorce was highly-covered, there is a lot of interesting history between the two. Here are 15 facts you didn't know about their relationship.
15 They Met at a Restaurant in L.A.
Hulk Hogan was wrestling around the world in different promotions prior to becoming the WWE's top guy in the mid '80s. He was spending time in Vince McMahon's company, spent time at New Japan Pro Wrestling and the American Wrestling Association. All of the women he met traveling around the world, and he ended up meeting Linda Claridge.
These two met at a restaurant in Los Angeles, although the details of how the encounter went down remain unclear. Given their bitter relationship now, there's a good chance we'll never find out the truth. Nonetheless, Hogan, a big celebrity, didn't go to Hollywood to find another famous person. He ended up being a regular person in Linda. But it wasn't that easy to begin with...
14 They Had a Long-Distance Relationship
As is the same with all professional wrestlers, Hogan had to travel the world all the time and didn't have much freedom to visit with family or friends. When he met Linda, the two phoned each other to stay in touch, maintaining a two-year relationship. This was a very strong long-distance relationship, but it did lead to something special between the two. At least, for two decades.
Obviously, their relationship was tough to hold onto all these years. Hogan wasn't around that often to look after their two kids. He knew it was a tough sacrifice to be a top-end Superstar. Somehow, they kept it together while he was traveling 24/7. Once his career in the ring began to wind down, everything just seemed to get worse for them. We'll get back to that shortly.
13 Their Wedding Featured WWE Legends
As you grow up, you'll find it more and more stressful to decide who gets to come to your wedding. You'll always ponder inviting your boss. Hulk Hogan chose to invite Mr. Vincent Kennedy McMahon to his special day. Given their rocky relationship for over two decades, it's hard to imagine that Hogan is happy with that choice. So, a lesson for all you kids: Only invite to your wedding the folks you think will be in your life in 20-30 years.
McMahon wasn't the only WWE personnel that attended Hulk and Linda's wedding, however. Antonio Hinoki and Andre the Giant were among other wrestlers that attended the big event. Hogan also invited other wrestling employees to the event. The best part? There weren't any leg drops for the attendees who got too drunk, brother.
12 Linda Sang In Hulk Rules
Some people cringe when they watch Hogan's old promos, hear him scream "brother," every time, call the Superdome the Silverdome, and stumble across his lines during promos with guys like Mr. McMahon. If you wanted to cringe more, feel free to listen to The Wrestling Boot Band.
It was a band put together by WWE personalities, led by none other than Hulk Hogan. They released an album called Hulk Rules. To the surprise of nobody, this was the only album they would release. Hogan somehow got his wife Linda on board, where she performed background singing. She, Hogan, Jimmy Hart and J.J. McGuire produced the track.
By the way, critics hated it, Jimmy Fallon made fun of it on his own show, and it somehow appeared on one of our favourite shows, Malcolm in the Middle. But Linda showed signs of being a good wife by doing her part in her husband's project.
11 Weird Photos
When you take into consideration all of the messes, tragedy and break-up of the Hogan's marriage, it's not hard to understand why their marriage was a different one, to say the least. It has to be that way if you have your own reality show that focuses solely on the family.
But the Hogans have a relationship with their children that has us thinking..."What?"
Photos on Nick's cell phone showed photos of his own mother in a thong, trying to pose in a seductive matter. Photos have also come to the public of Hulk rubbing lotion on his daughter while she suntans in a bikini. Maybe that's not odd to some, but it sure looks like he's touching his daughter's buttocks. So yeah, this is something we'd like to forget about the Hogans.
10 "Hogan Knows Best" Destroyed The Marriage
"Hogan Knows Best," was a popular(?) reality show that ran from 2005-2007. Though panned by many, the show was interesting in seeing how the WWE icon behaved at home. The show centered on the personal lives of Hulk, Linda, and their two children, son Nick and daughter Brooke.
We saw Hogan as a very over-protective father of Brooke, showing no tolerance for her to date. We also saw Hulk and Linda have problems staying together. The show was cancelled, reportedly because of family troubles. Nick got himself into trouble when he borrowed his father's crash and got into an ugly accident which left one of his passenger friends paralyzed.
Sadly, the cancellation of Hogan Knows Best was just the foreshadowing of what was to come for Hogan and Linda's marriage. Everything began to unravel after the show was cancelled.
9 Linda's Divorce Wish Surprised Him
If you watched the show, there's a good chance you were asking yourself how in the world would that marriage last all that long. Sadly for the Hogan family, it didn't. The marriage of Hulk and Linda Hogan was finished, but The Hulkster was caught by surprise when he found out his wife wanted to move on from him.
In November of 2007, Linda formally filed for divorce. Hogan was apparently not aware of it until a reporter approached him and displayed the divorce papers. She talked about how the marriage was broken, and she wanted custody of Nick and most of Hogan's money.
So nobody was shocked that this whole thing was a disaster for the Hogan family. But this was no peaceful divorce settlement. It just led to more and more issues down the road. Continue for more...
8 Hogan Allegedly Cheated on Linda
This is the main reason Linda filed for divorce, believing her husband was being unfaithful to her. Though that leaked tape from Gawker showed Hogan sleeping with one of his best friend's wives, you probably didn't know that he allegedly cheated on Linda while they were together.
Christiane Plante, a friend of Brooke Hogan, came forward and confessed to having an affair. She said she apologized to Brooke and would "never forgive herself...lost an amazing friend." Plante was 21 years younger than Hogan during the alleged affair.
Though we don't know the full truth to this, Linda claimed he had multiple affairs and was even abusive. Sadly, one of the happiest marriages among WWE Superstars for two decades became a major mess. And it got even worse with time.
7 Hogan Almost Committed Suicide
Everything was crashing down with Hogan during his divorce. However, he married Jennifer McDaniel in 2010 and had periodic appearances with the WWE after the messy divorce. But during the early briefings of his divorce with Linda, Hogan lost all hope.
Hogan admitted that he was close to killing himself. Though many were caught by surprise with that comment, Hogan also talked about how close he was to ending his own life.
Hogan said he had a gun at his own head, until a phone call from his friend, Laila Ali, checked in on him to make sure he was okay. It was a formal phone call, but Hogan said he immediately realized he wanted to stay alive and chose to fight through the pain.
Ali stopped a huge tragedy that would have shook the Hogan family and the WWE. Thankfully, Hogan kept on fighting and is doing a lot better in life.
6 Linda Said Hogan Ruined 25 Years of Marriage
Even though their marriage had ended over eight years ago, Linda wanted to make it clear on national television how she felt about her husband of a quarter century. She came onto Inside Edition and while crying during the interview, didn't hold back from how she felt about him:
"I want the world to know how I feel about him. I gave that man everything. I gave him everything that I had. "I can't get my life back on track either. I don't know, what am I supposed to do? Start over now that I'm 57? I don't know where I fit in in this world any more."
Linda took it a step further by writing a letter to Inside Edition, saying "YOU have single handedly ruined our 25 year marriage and our family."
While we don't have all the facts, it's safe to say Linda believes she did her part in the marriage, and it was all Hogan's fault. This was definitely one of the most bitter divorces in Hollywood.
5 Linda Blames Him for Children's Problems
Aside from the issues that took place during and shortly after Hogan Knows Best, the two children actually did a great job staying out of the spotlight. However, Linda took Brooke and Nick's problems and simply blamed them on her ex-husband. Here is what she had to say about Hulk:
"My kids to this day are still reeling, and they can't get their feet back on planet earth," she also told Inside Edition. In that aforementioned letter she had to write about him, she even went too far. She also accused him of ruining "my trust, my love, my future, our future family with grandchildren, holidays, weddings, our kids' lives, homes, their ability to trust, our poor animals, friends."
So uh, I guess these two aren't making amends any time soon.
4 Hulk's Feelings Are Bitter Too
With all of these vicious things Linda has had to say about her ex-husband, don't think for a moment that he held back. Hulk has made it clear that he's not interested in repairing the damage with his ex-wife. Now we don't want to take sides here, but can you really blame him after all the mean things she's said?
During a rant obtained by RadarOnline.com, Hogan made this special request to Bubba Clem:
''Dude, the only thing I will ever ask of you ... I don't know how you will pull this off ... is, if I am ever on my death bed, you cannot let Linda come and visit me.''
That's pretty interesting. Basically, despite 25 years of marriage, all the memories and having two kids together...and Hulk still wouldn't want to see his ex-wife again? Well, Linda and Hulk have moved on with their lives, and there's no questioning that there isn't any love to go around at this point.
3 Linda Took His Assets
As we all know, it's common for the woman to take home a lot of money when they divorce from a celebrity husband. Linda was no exception, as it's reported that she took 70 percent of his assets, which he didn't have much of a problem agreeing to. The assets were reported to be around $30 million, plus $3 million in property settlement alone AND 40 percent of ownership in companies owned by Hogan.
Linda also got to keep a handful of luxurious cars, including a Corvette.
Well, the divorce surely made things easier. No offence, but I'm not buying it when she says that she doesn't know how to start her life. A lot of us would love to have $1 million alone, but $30 million? Life's hard.
2 2...She Spent Her Money Freely
So Linda, again, said how she didn't know how to spend her money? Well, divorcing Hulk gave her more money than the value of gold at Fort Knox. Don't believe us? Well here's how she spent the money.
First off, she bought a fancy new mansion, which is 6,300 square feet in Los Angeles. The property also has a private lake and produces 60,000 pounds of fruit a year, according to Yahoo Sports. The property also cost her just $3.5 million, but she put it up on the market for $5.5 million. A former hairdresser of Linda also claimed that she used the money to buy prescription/recreational drugs for herself and bootleg for underage kids at her house.
It appears as though Linda had quite a bit of fun using that money. Now, we see how she plans to use the rest.
1 1...She Thinks He Didn't Deserve The Gawker Money
When Hulk Hogan's tape was published, he wasted no time taking Gawker, the company that released the video to the public, to court. He successfully sued them for $115 million for invading his privacy. On top of that, he also bankrupted them financially, and they had to shut down.
When she talked to Insider Edition, Linda wasted no time taking yet another shot at her husband:
"It made me a little bit sick. I don't know how he can sleep at night getting that money for doing what he did in a roundabout way. It's dirty money...I was like, 'What?' It is kind of like saying he is being rewarded for bad behavior."
Well, someone does sound a little jealous. Clearly, Hogan losing his divorce money isn't a big deal to him. He ended up taking in more money from a lawsuit than Linda did from their divorce. It appears as though she's always going to find ways to talk smack about him.
But whatcha gonna do when Hogan wins, brother?