“Total Bellas” star Nikki Bella is “sorry and embarrassed” for implying wrestling legend Joanie “Chyna” Laurer looked like a “man” in a resurfaced video.
The 2021 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, who wrestled alongside her twin sister Brie Bella until 2019, issued an apology for her 2013 appearance on “Fashion Police.” In the resurfaced clip circulating on Twitter, Nikki Bella mocked Laurer’s appearance, who was dressed in a silver and black wrestling costume: “We don’t know if it’s a man or a woman.”
Host Joan Rivers, who died in 2014 at age 81, added at the time: “I totally agree… Her vagina has a penis.”
The official Twitter account for Laurer, which is run by the late wrestling legend’s estate, called the Bella Twins’ comment “disrespectful” Monday. Laurer died April 20, 2016 from an accidental drug overdose at age 46.
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Nikki Bella issued a statement Monday via the official Twitter account for the Bella Twins: “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,” the 37-year-old wrote. “I wish I could take it back. Please learn from me, it’s not worth hurting someone’s feelings for a meaningless laugh.”
Nikki Bella added: “Chyna will always be remembered as an icon and pioneer who helped created the opportunities for women in wrestling that exist today.”
Laurer was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019 as a member of D-Generation X.
The official Twitter account for Laurer reposted Nikki Bella’s apology, adding that the former wrestling star also apologized in private.
“It was sincere. Please stop attacking her. Her apology has been passed on to the family also,” the tweet read. “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.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Laurer’s estate and Nikki Bella for comment.
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