Hulk Hogan said on Larry King Live Monday night that exposing his family to reality TV shows may have had a bad influence on his 17-year-old son Nick Bollea, who is in jail for an accident last summer that put friend John Graziano in the hospital.
"Should we have changed course of direction?" Hogan said. "Maybe so but we were following the course of what my family does. I was trying to provide for my family with what we do."
King's interview with Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, is Hogan's first interview since Nick Bollea was jailed for injuring Graziano.
Choking up with emotion at least twice, Hogan said the desperation he felt as a parent with Nick is to blame for the harsh statements he made about Graziano. In a recorded call, Nick Bollea told his father that John was "a negative person."
"This is hard. Did I say things wrong? Yes. Am I sorry? Yes," Hogan said. "I was desperate to keep my son from unraveling. I never meant to hurt John."
Hogan also said he feels responsible as a parent for some of the choices he has made and how they might've affected his family.
"It's a constant soul-searching mission. What could I have done?" Hogan said. "But Nick wanted to be accountable. He stood up like a man. I'm so proud of my son."
Bollea's attorneys have since gone to court to block the release of Nick's conversations with his parents.
"We don't think it's correct and we don't want more coming out," attorney David Houston said.
Graziano, 23, has been in a semiconscious state since Aug. 26, when Bollea's speeding Toyota Supra slammed into a tree. Bollea pleaded no contest May 9 to reckless driving with serious bodily injury.
Hogan blames "reckless" media attention for the frenzy surrounding the situation and the release of the tapes.
"I call it tabloid terrorism," Hogan said. "No one ever came out and told the whole story."
At the request of a news organization, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office released 26 hours of recorded conversation between Nick Bollea and his family. Graziano's father recently said he was outraged by the conversations.
In one, Nick's mother, Linda Bollea, said she knew John better than his own mother did.
"She's not sad. She's just acting angry like she just wants the money," Linda Bollea said of John's mother, Debbie Graziano. "John never meant anything to her or Ed. It's just sad because I really appreciated you kids, and I just miss John. I miss you, too. She's not suffering. I am. I have the loss."
Graziano's father, Ed Graziano, has said he found those comments offensive and said his wife "lives for her children."
Bollea also asked his father to line up a reality television show about him getting out of jail and back on his feet.
"I want to do it where I'll make the most money," he said.
Hulk Hogan said he'd produce the show and make his son an owner.
I couldn't even watch this sad sack of shit talk for even a minute, so this the best recap I've got. If anyone else out there watched it and wants to recap, I'll update this post.