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Video: Linda Hogan, 22-year-old boyfriend ‘talking’ marriage

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    >>> wrestler hulk hogan became a cultural icon in the early '80s in 2005 his wife linda and the family joined in the hit reality show , " hogan knows best ." but all good things must come to and end, that's what happened to the reality show and their marriage. now linda is opening up in a new book called "wrestling with the hulk" my life against the ropes this is quite the candid tome as they say.

    >> what made you write it?

    >> i didn't want to anger things and make things worse, like pouring fuel on the fire of the divorce at the time. it was so public. i thought there's going to come a time where i'll have a platform to talk about it. my situation is so much like what so many other women have gone through.

    >> in what way?

    >> infidelity.

    >> uh-huh. not just once?

    >> right.

    >> chronically?

    >> what are you going to do? what do you do, you know? a life full of lies. you just say, wake up one day and go, can i keep going.

    >> we should point out, we did ask hulk hogan for any comment. he didn't give us one. but in your book there were shocking allegations. you talk about violent arguments. you say he tore my shirt, threw lamps, held me down on the bed with his hands around my dloet with arguments. i was always afraid he would kill me in one of these rages. this was a 20-year marriage that this happened infrequently, a lot?

    >> 24 years and, yeah, i mean every -- you know, argument escalated to physical. and it wasn't like i was walking around with a black eye like mike tyson just blocked me out. but it's a bullying type of thing when somebody has to squeeze your arm to make their point. and one time, it escalated to the point where he had me on the bed and his hands were on my throat.

    >> why didn't you leave, linda ?

    >> it scare he had me.

    >> but you're a woman with options, you know, you could leave. why didn't you, hon?

    >> you're right, kathie. and the reason that women in my situation at that point don't leave is you have a very public marriage, you've got two young children. we're in the middle of their schools, when you look at their situation and say -- if i leave, it would be such a selfish thing to do, you know. maybe i can just gut it out. you know, maybe i can handle that. maybe i can forgive him.

    >> he went on a radio show real quick to give his side. he claims you are delusional. he denied ever being physically abusive. he claims all of your abuse claims were a cold, blatant lie.

    >> yada yada .

    >> is this it now with the book? is that, then you can get on with your life? because you have quite an interesting little life going on now.

    >> i do.

    >> let me show a picture of mr. charlie.

    >> are you guys married? are you engaged?

    >> we are living together and we've talked about marriage. he's asked me. but it's no hurry. he's young, he's got lots of time.

    >> how old is he now?

    >> 22, getting up there.

    >> pretty soon he's going to be too old for you, right?

    >> exactly. got to find somebody younger to keep up with me.

    >> you and your daughter, you were on unsatisfactory terms, have you healed it up?

    >> we have. it was symptomatic of the parents bringing the kids into it. it's not fair, but we're fine, i love my brooke. i've been -- great mom, i've never had nannys, i always took care of my kids. we have a very good relationship now that she's an adult and livo nick lives at home with me.

    >> he's doing well. yeah. he's i'm watching close over him. i'm loving my life. it's great having a younger guy.

    >> it's quite the read and no holds barred, linda .

    >> go on and get happy.

HarperCollins
By
TODAY books
updated 6/30/2011 12:01:46 PM ET 2011-06-30T16:01:46

Linda Hogan had it all. She enjoyed fame and fortune as the celebrity wife of a bona fide icon. But after her marriage to Hulk Hogan imploded in a very public and acrimonious spectacle, she’s been waiting to tell her side of the story. In “Wrestling the Hulk,” she does just that. Here’s an excerpt.

PROLOGUE

I am digging. The ground is hard. The dirt is heavy. I keep pushing forward with my shovel, digging deeper and deeper and deeper. But this is nothing new to me. I’ve been digging myself out of holes my entire life, and I’ve played many roles while doing it. Linda Hogan, wife of the wrestling icon Hulk Hogan. Linda Hogan, mother to Brooke and Nick Hogan. Linda Hogan, television personality. And now Linda Hogan, farmer?

Yes, sir. I am standing in a ditch at my avocado farm in California, Sunny Girl Avocados. My newest role is a reminder of my freedom. When you endure the public and private battles I have and survive, you’re lucky to be the one holding the shovel! And it’s not a coincidence that I am growing avocados. They have one of the thickest skins of any fruit, and early on I learned the importance of having a thick skin.

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Since the divorce became final two years ago, people have often asked me when I was going to tell my side of the story. Friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers on the street would come up to me and ask what really happened. I was married to an icon, and I was fiercely loyal to him and to my children. Then, after the two decades we spent building an empire together, that empire crumbled. The family that was my life force for so long seemed to be taken away in a flash. My husband was gone. My son was in jail. My daughter lived in Miami. The ensuing divorce battle has now become Hollywood folklore.

It took a long time for me to realize that I needed to leave. Or maybe he just wanted me to leave. Either way, I knew that I had to make a decision and probably face the battle of my life.

Sure, I had access to the media to tell my story as the divorce was unfolding, but I never took advantage of it. I was dealing with Hulk Hogan, somebody with a huge ego. Somebody who doesn’t like losing at anything. He shot back at me in the media when I wasn’t even shooting in the first place. If you let the fire smolder, it will eventually go out, I thought. I knew that there would come a time when it would need to be discussed publicly. That time has come. That time is now.

It’s the end of the day. The sun begins to set with deep gold and orange tones across the mountains. I put down my shovel and sit on a rock after an honest day’s work. Honest is an interesting choice of words. My husband wasn’t being honest in our marriage, and it was time for me to be honest with myself. This is my story, an honest account of my life that I hope will offer others inspiration to move on in their own lives in a more positive way. I was forced to learn these lessons the hard way, but as the saying goes, “Without the lows, the highs wouldn’t be so incredible.” Now that I’ve had my hardships, I am much more grateful for the new doors God has opened for me.

I hope this book will help you learn from my mistakes and find all the joys I found once I summoned the courage to take the first step toward happiness.

From "Wrestling the Hulk: My Life Against the Ropes" by Linda Hogan. Copyright © 2011. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins publishers.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive

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