While filming their reality show, “Hogan Knows Best,” Brooke Hogan and her family — dad Hulk, mom Linda, and brother Nick — seemed happy. These days, however, the family is splintered.
Hulk and Linda are divorcing after 24 years of marriage, Linda is dating a 19-year-old, and 17-year-old Nick is in jail for reckless driving, stemming from a car crash that left his friend, John Graziano, in a coma.
All of this weighed on Brooke’s mind when she sat down with Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos for an exclusive interview.
“I don’t know it’s — it’s been pretty nuts,” Brooke sighed.
But it’s been more than tough for Brooke, who told Maria she crumbled under the weight of the dramas — her brother’s jailing especially.
“I have to admit I did have a little bit of a breakdown one time about that ‘cause my brother and I are inseparable,” Brooke said. “I’m always used to protecting him, he’s always been my little brother.”
It wasn’t easy for Brooke to open up about her family’s struggles, but she revealed that just two months into his eight-month sentence, Nick has already had trouble with other inmates.
“There’s been a couple, you know, confrontations in there,” Brooke said.
“Has he been physically harmed?” Maria asked.
“Not physically harmed, but kids have confronted him about it,” Brooke said. “And thank God he knows how to handle it and say, ‘Yo! Back off!’”
Before the altercations, Nick was held in solitary for 28 days. The jail released over 26 hours of his calls from that time.
“I don’t know if legally they’re allowed to do that,” Brooke said. “Paris Hilton and all these other people haven’t had their tapes released.”
One of the most image-damaging calls took place between Hulk and his son, discussing the victim of the crash, Graziano.
“For some reason man, God laid some heavy s**t on that kid man,” Hulk is heard telling Nick over the phone.
“John was a negative person,” Nick replied. “Will you work on that reality deal?”
So what did Brooke think of the conversation?
“All I can really say is they threw him in solitary confinement and hardened criminals can’t even stay in there for a couple of days,” she said. “When he’s going crazy over the phone saying, ‘I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to make it in here,’ you just try to tell him anything tangible that he can attach to.”
“What about the comments about John?” Maria asked.
“I don’t really know about that,” Brooke said. “I just know that my family has total love for John.”
The only Hogan not entrenched in scandal, Brooke is working on her recording career and her new VH1 reality show, “Brooke Knows Best,” debuting on Sunday. But is there pressure to be extra good in the wake of her family’s troubles?
“I don’t feel pressure,” Brooke said. “I do feel like if someone can see me slip up, you know, they would love it because it would complete the family craziness. I’m not naturally the type of person that likes to party and start trouble.”
But Brooke’s mom, 48-year-old Linda, has been hitting the parties, with her new 19-year-old boyfriend Charlie, who actually went to grade school with 20-year-old Brooke.
“I don’t believe what’s going on you know,” she said of her mom’s new romance. “I don’t condone it and I’m like, ‘Who are you?’”