O.J. comments misunderstood, Hulk Hogan says

Linda and Hulk Hogan enjoy happier times at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards in New York.
Hulk Hogan said his comments to Rolling Stone magazine that he can "totally understand" O.J. Simpson — the former football great found liable for the deaths of his wife and another man — are being misunderstood.

The pro wrestling legend said Wednesday that he “took the high road” and “didn’t do the O.J. Simpson thing” despite the pain of his bitter divorce fight with wife Linda. Hogan’s lawyer said the quotes leaked to a gossip column have been taken out of context and the full article proves Hogan “never condones the O.J. situation.” A spokesman for Linda Hogan said the statement amounts to a death threat and that her attorney is “weighing all options necessary to protect his client.” “His violent and scary mood swings have been my nightmare for too many years,” Linda Hogan said Thursday in a written statement. “I hope for the sake of our kids that he gets the psychological help for himself and the safety of others.” Her spokesman, Gary Smith, said, “For those who buy his claim the comment was taken out of context, read the rest of Rolling Stone and determine for yourself if his suicidal tendencies coupled with the use of drugs and alcohol make him a danger.” The controversial quote is part of a eight-page feature article about Hogan to be published in the magazine’s Friday edition.

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“I could have turned everything into a crime scene like O.J., cutting everybody’s throat,” Hogan told Rolling Stone. “You live half a mile from the 20,000-square-foot home you can’t go to anymore, you’re driving through downtown Clearwater [Florida] and see a 19-year-old boy driving your Escalade, and you know that a 19-year-old boy is sleeping in your bed, with your wife… . “I totally understand O.J. I get it.” The controversy began with a leak of the quote to the New York Post’s Page 6 gossip column. Hogan lawyer David Houston said that quote was “part of a larger conversation to exemplify degrees of emotional turmoil.” “Earlier reports to the contrary exemplify the danger of cherry-picking quotes and reacting to them,” Houston said. Watch report on Hogan’s statements ยป Hogan spoke later Wednesday to a photographer with the gossip Web site TMZ: “I spent three days with a writer for Rolling Stone talking about being positive and happy and walking in the spirit of Christ. And he asked me, ‘Well, why didn’t you flip out’ Well, I didn’t jump off the Empire State building, I didn’t buy a white Bronco. I didn’t do the O.J. Simpson thing. I took the high road. “I’m not focused on Linda anymore,” Hogan said. It has been widely reported that Linda Hogan, 49, is dating a younger man. She filed for divorce in 2007 after nearly 25 years of marriage. Simpson was found not guilty of murder in the 1994 stabbing deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, but was found liable for their deaths by a civil court jury. Simpson later was found guilty in a Las Vegas, Nevada, armed robbery case and sentenced in December to up to 33 years in prison. Linda Hogan’s spokesman linked the comments to the 55-year-old Hogan’s three-decade career, during which he held multiple championship titles and, during his heyday in the 1980s, was easily the most popular wrestler in the world.

“We have always maintained that the fear that Linda has had to live with comes from the rage and instability much too often associated with pro wrestlers,” Smith said in the statement. Hulk Hogan’s real name is Terry Bollea. His wife alternately goes by Linda Hogan and Linda Bollea.