Even though her dad Hulk and mom Linda have weathered many controversies, Brooke Hogan is able to hold her head high.
“I don’t get embarrassed by them because they’re human,” the reality star, 24, tells me this week while in NYC to promote her work with TNA’s female wrestling division, The Knockouts. “I hope that I can handle things as well as they have when I’m older.”
Most recently, Linda split from her 29-years-younger beau after four years, and is now in talks to star in Ricky Romance’s MILF rap video. Meanwhile, a Hulk sex tape is rumored to be making the rounds.
But these instances don’t phase cool-headed Brooke, who also dealt with whispers of affairs while her family was in the spotlight on VH1’s Hogan Knows Best and its spinoff, Brooke Knows Best, from 2005-2009. (Hulk has been candid about his bout with depression, saying he once considered suicide in his 2009 memoir My Life Outside The Ring.)
Although her parents split three years ago, she is on good terms with them.
“My relationship with my parents is great,” she says. “I was stuck in the middle through their divorce, but we’re family, and we’ve had our personal moments of resolving things, and everything is great now.”
In fact, Brooke hopes to follow in her father’s footsteps by taking up a post with TNA’s Knockouts. She is now executive in charge, and makes her debut tonight on Spike TV's Impact Wrestling.
“I always thought it would be cool to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” she says. “It’s something with kids where they want to make their parents proud, and I thought ‘what better way to make my father proud than to follow in his footsteps?’ I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill, but I’ve got a really good example to follow. I’ve got a pretty good mentor.”
Still, telling him that she was going into the family business was a conversation that needed prompting.
“My dad didn’t even know that we had made this deal, and then we had to break it to him,” she says. “I was like ‘[TNA president] Dixie [Carter], you tell dad.’ I think he almost had a heart attack. [laughs]”
Of course, Hulk had long feared his daughter would enter the wrestling ring.
“I think he knows how rowdy I am,” she says. “I used to play soccer. I was really into sports. I’ve always loved wrestling — I’ve always loved watching it, aside from my dad being on it. I think he thought I’d get carried away, maybe. He’s like ‘just as long as you don’t wrestle, it’s fine.’”
Not to worry, though. She says, “I know the business, but I don’t know the moves.”
How did she get involved with The Knockouts?
First of all, I never thought that I would be getting into wrestling,” she says. “I was like ‘oh my gosh, people are going to think it’s crazy, people aren’t going to respect me because they’ll think my dad shooed me in, but the truth of the matter is that Dixie Carter, the president of TNA, and I’ve been working on my music for a year-and-a-half. We were having lunch one day, and the conversation turned to wrestling.”
She continues, “I went on a tangent about what I think should happen with the Knockouts and she goes 'I had no idea that you were this passionate about it.’ I said ‘yeah, I grew up in it, and I love it. I actually, for a long time, wanted to wrestle,’ and my dad was like ‘hell no, you’re not wrestling.’ She was like ‘I had no idea that you know this much about wrestling. Ever since [inaudible left], I haven’t replaced her. The Knockouts are an important division to me, but I have so many irons in the fire, I really can’t concentrate on them. While you’re recording your album, would you remind stepping in until I get someone full-time?’ I said, ‘I’ll be here for as long as you need me.’”
Catch Brooke on TNA’s Impact Wrestling, which airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on Spike TV.