Hulk Hogan says he was close to taking his own life following his divorce with ex-wife Linda Hogan and his son’s 2007 auto accident that left a family friend with severe brain injuries.
In his new memoir, “My Life Outside The Ring,” Hogan says that son Nick’s 2007 auto accident that left the young man’s friend, John Graziano, with permanent brain injuries coupled with the crumbling of his 23-year marriage to wife Linda sent him into a rum and Xanax fueled spiral that almost killed him.
“My son had this horrible accident with his best friend. My wife and I had a marriage that had been unraveling for a long time. It was a bad situation. All of a sudden I got into this downward spiral and stated thinking real negatively, Hogan said during an appearance on NBC’s the “Today” show on Tuesday.
“When I went to the house, every room was empty,” Hogan told “Today” co-host Meredith Vieira, recalling coming home after working on a South American version of “American Gladiators.” “All my dogs and all the animals were gone. There were pictures of my family all over the house. Every closet I went in, all the clothes were gone. And it just came over me, it just happened. I just started sitting there and I was overwhelmed with depression.”
In the book, Hogan writes about holding a gun to his head and how he almost pulled the trigger – but a call from “Gladiators” co-star, Laila Ali saved him.
“All of a sudden the phone rang, and it was Laila, and she said, ‘Hey, what’s going on? You’re on the set. You’re all depressed. We’re worried about you. You going to be OK?’” He said, recounting Laila’s call. “She called with no agenda, just to say hi and check on me. It snapped me out of it. At that moment I switched gears. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Her voice saved my life, it really did.”
Hogan says that despite a lawsuit from Graziano’s family, which Hogan claims is worth more than he’s made during his entire career, he remains positive about the road ahead.
“It’s been a tough couple of years,” he told Meredith. “The way things are and the things people are going through, I just felt if I could survive through this and change my thinking and switch gears – I just wanted people to know that life is good. You don’t have to run around with your head down. Stay positive. Stay happy… For me to change my thinking and be happier than I’ve ever been – just wanted people to know my story.”