Laila Ali On The Call That Saved Hulk Hogan’s Life: ‘That Was Just Divine Intervention’
First Published: October 21, 2009 7:44 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- In his new memoir, “My Life Outside The Ring,” Hulk Hogan says a phone call from Laila Ali saved his life after a night of drinking and drug use – but the former professional boxer told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson that her intervention was news to her on Wednesday.
“I do remember working with Hulk on the set of ‘American Gladiators’ and he was going through a hard time, going through a divorce with his wife,” Laila told Shaun. “ I did call him from time to time when we were shooting the show for whatever reason & I did offer him lots of words of inspiration & support.”
One of those calls, Hulk wrote, came as the embattled star considered suicide with a loaded gun.
“I think that was just divine intervention,” Laila said.
While Laila knew her “Gladiators” co-host was troubled, she said they never went in depth on his problems with his much-publicized divorce and his son, Nick’s, time in jail.
“I tend to not get into people’s business too far,” she told Shaun. “I just remember Hulk telling me that he had a lot going on, dealing with attorneys, dealing with his ex-wife, all the drama going on & having to come to work and perform was really wearing him down. [And] mentioning drinking alcohol and having to get himself together before he came, sometimes he would show up late. I’d be like, ‘What’s going on, Hulk? You got everybody waiting.’ I would give him a hard time and mess with him.”
She said that the wrestling star found solace in the book “The Secret” – and Laila’s church.
“Rev. Michael [from ‘The Secret’] has a church here, Agape in Los Angeles, that I’ve been going to since I was 12 years old, so I told Hulk and then he went,” she said. “He loved it, he kept going. I remember I ran into him there.”
Laila, who described Hulk as “a really nice guy,” said he reminds her of her legendary father, Muhammad Ali.
“He’s a very nice, down-to-Earth guy – he turns it on for the show and that’s why he reminds me of my father. Beause he’s very different on camera than he is off camera. I think the core of him is just a very good, honest, loving man.”
While Laila hasn’t spoken to Hulk since the news, she said she hopes to hear from him.
“He better call me, get in touch with me,” she said.
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.