WWE star Nikki Bella apologized for comments she made regarding her fellow late wrestler, Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, on Monday, June 28.
“We don’t know if it’s a man or a woman,” Nikki said in the clip. Host Joan Rivers (who passed away in 2014) added, “I totally agree … Her vagina has a penis.”
Chyna died in 2016 at the age of 46 due to an accidental drug overdose.
Nikki took to Twitter and expressed her regret for her insensitive comments. “I want to sincerely apologize for a comment I made over 8 years ago on ‘Fashion Police.’ I am sorry and embarrassed by my 29-year-old self, who offended Chyna and in turn, hurt her family and others. I wish I could take it back.”
The Total Bellas star continued, “Please learn from me, it’s not worth hurting someone’s feelings for a meaningless laugh. Chyna will always be remembered as an icon and pioneer who helped create the opportunities for women in wrestling that exist today. Thank you Chyna!”
Chyna’s estate responded to the clip and called it “disrespectful” on her Twitter account.
After Nikki’s apology made headlines, Chyna’s estate shared Nikki’s tweets and noted that she also apologized to the family privately. They urged other users to not attack the mother of one.
“Nikki has [apologized] on her page and in private. It was sincere. Please stop attacking her. Her apology has been passed on to the family also,” Chyna’s account wrote. “She has grown as a person. There is no hate or Ill will. Please build each other up not tear down. Chyna believed in forgiveness.”
While Nikki and Bella retired from wrestling in 2019, they were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in March.
“Dreams do come true. Never give up. Believe in yourself. Stay fearless. Stay humble. And empower and inspire along the way #halloffame,” Nikki posted on Instagram alongside a clip from the ceremony.
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