A decade ago, the Hogan family was captivating TV viewers with their VH1 shows Hogan Knows Best and Brooke Knows Best. But the last 10 years haven’t been kind to former wrestler Hulk Hogan, and they’ve certainly been tough on his son Nick too.
On Aug. 26, 2007, a then-17-year-old Nick was driving a yellow Toyota Supra near downtown Clearwater, FL — and racing another car, police believe — when he spun out and crashed into a tree. His passenger, 22-year-old John Graziano, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and suffered severe brain and eye injuries. John spent two years in a hospital before heading home in 2009. Based on reports, he’ll need care for the rest of his life.
Nick eventually pled no contest to a charge of reckless driving with serious bodily injury. He was sentenced to eight months in prison and five years of probation, but he got an early release from prison in 2008 and an early release from probation in 2012. During his time behind bars, however, he told his famous dad that he wanted a reality show and that John was a “negative person,” according to tapes released by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
“A lot of what was said on those tapes [was] recorded in the most challenging times of my entire life,” he told ABC News in 2010. “I was in the middle of really, really going to the deepest depths of mental insanity being in solitary confinement.”
When asked about the crash during that interview, Nick teared up. “It’s hard to move on every day and be positive when there’s something that’s so horribly devastating,” he said. “There [are] days when I can’t even get out of bed. I pray every day that I will be able to deal with it. It’s something that I carry with me every day.”
Still, Nick’s love for cars endures — he’s even back behind the wheel of a Toyota Supra. And, he's found love! In September, the 27-year-old shared a photo of himself kissing fitness model Brit Manuela. "This one," he simply captioned the image. He also regularly posts pics from his DJing gigs.