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Nikki Bella is sorry for calling Chyna a ‘man’

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Wrestling bombshell Nikki Bella is apologizing for offensive comments she once made about the late ring legend Joanie “Chyna” Laurer.

Laurer — the first woman to win WWE’s Intercontinental championship — died of an overdose in 2016 after a protracted public downfall at 46. 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 the 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, 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 Monday, after the controversial tweet had racked up more than 700 likes.

“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,” Nikki wrote in a smartphone note attached to the tweet, which has seen 1,300 supporters so far. “I wish I could take it back. Please learn from me, it’s not worth hurting someone’s feelings for a meaningless laugh.”

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!”

Joanie Laurer attends the FHM Salutes the 100 Sexiest Women in the World on May 17, 2001 at La Boheme in West Hollywood, California.
Joanie “Chyna” Laurer flexes her famous muscles at the FHM Salutes the 100 Sexiest Women in the World bash in 2001 at La Boheme in West Hollywood, Calif.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

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.

Joanie "Chyna" Laurer posing with her Playboy cover
Laurer died at 46 after an accidental overdose.
WireImage

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.  

Chyna And Hhh In Wwf Smackdown.
Laurer and Paul “Triple H” Levesque at the 1999 WWF Smackdown.
Getty Images



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