5:37pm PT by Kate Stanhope
Dwayne Johnson Weighs In on Hulk Hogan Scandal: "We've All Talked Trash"
Former professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is speaking out about the very public fall of Hulk Hogan.
Promoting his HBO comedy Ballers at the Television Critics Association press tour Thursday, Johnson was asked to weigh in on the controversy surrounding Hogan (real name: Terry Gene Bollea), who was terminated by the WWE Friday after reports surfaced that he went on a racist, N-word-filled tirade.
"I was pretty disappointed with what I heard, like all of us," said Johnson. "I've known Terry for a lot of years."
Johnson, who comes from a long lineage of wrestlers, explained that his dad and his uncles helped train Hogan in the '70s when he first was trying to break into the business.
"I had not known the man to be racist," said Johnson. "Not justifying what he said, we've all talked trash, especially in private. He said what he said, and he's paying the price."
According to a "joint investigation" by The National Enquirer and Radar Online, the decision came down after additional footage from Hogan's 2012 sex tape leaked, showing the wrestler making racist comments about his daughter, Brooke's, boyfriend, whom he believed to be black.
"I’d rather, if she was going to f— some n—er," Hogan reportedly said on the tape, "I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n—er worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!"
Hogan later issued a statement apologizing for his comments. "Eight years ago, I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it," he said. "This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs."