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Wrestling bombshell Nikki Bella is apologizing for offensive comments she once made about the late ring legend Joanie “Chyna Doll” Laurer.
Laurer — the first woman to win WWE’s Intercontinental championship — died of an overdose in 2016 after a protracted public downfall at the age of 45. However, at her peak, the muscular champion was known around the globe as “The Ninth Wonder of the World.”
Her loyal fans are now calling out a resurfaced clip from a 2013 appearance by Bella Twins — wrestling/realty TV duo Nikki and Brie Bella — on “Fashion Police,” then hosted by comedy legend Joan Rivers.
During the interview, the Bellas were asked to comment on Laurer’s looks, claiming they “don’t know if it’s a man or a woman,” said Nikki, now 37, referring to Chyna — a woman.
To make matters worse, the host Rivers — who died at 81 in 2014 — piled on the late Laurer, saying her “vagina has a penis.”
Fans were quick to denounce the “disrespectful” language aimed at a cult icon who’s abusive early life, groundbreaking career and tragic spiral is explored in a new documentary on VICE TV.
“Yeah this is messed up…Poor Chyna,” the fan captioned the video.
The official account for Laurer responded to the resurfaced interview in a since-deleted tweet, according to celebrity gossip site Too Fab.
“That video from the @BellaTwins is disrespectful. Chyna would of been hurt by this. But we will just show love. I just hope they are sorry. We will run this page and campaign with light not hate,” they wrote. An additional response to the thread on Sunday added, “No itvwa [sic] disrespectful period!!”
Nikki issued her mea culpa via the Bella Twins official social media account on Monday, after the controversial tweet had racked up more than 700 likes.
She continued, “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!”
Laurer debuted in WWE as Chyna in 1997 as the bodyguard for eventual boyfriend — and later ex — Paul “Triple H” Levesque. She went on to become a vital member of the legendary D-Generation X faction before making a name for herself as an in-ring performer unlike any seen before in WWE, as she often wrestled the male superstars. She became the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble, a WWE women’s champion and infamously posed for Playboy.
Her contract was not renewed by WWE in 2001 and the franchise distanced itself from Laurer for many years as she dabbled in reality TV, entered the adult film industry and battled substance abuse — before leaving the country to start a new life.
VICE TV’s new two-hour documentary “VICE VERSA: Chyna” revolves around the final year of Laurer’s life. She returned to the US in 2015 after three quiet years in Japan — during which she was an English teacher — with the intent to make a documentary. Her inner circle now hopes the film will fuel a long-overdue solo induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
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