Wrestlers Brie and Nikki Bella were featured in an A&E TV special titled Biography: WWE Legends. The twins opened up about their upbringing and how they became one of the top wrestlers in the franchise. Here are some of the emotional revelations they made.
Brie and Nikki Bella had a rough childhood
The Bella twins say their parents were 19 years old when they had them. Brie describes it as “kids raising kids.” She says she felt like she had to “walk on eggshells” around her father because he had a temper and would get angry easily. She says her father was a drug user. According to her he would sometimes get so angry that he would black out. “That was really hard to live with,” says Brie during the A&E special.
Nikki says there was a lot of partying and anger in their household. She also says discipline was “above what discipline should be.” According to her, she and her sister were raised to believe conflict should be handled in an aggressive way.
“We were taught to fight at a young age,” says Nikki. “We were told we yell at each other because that’s how we love each other.” Their brother, JJ Garcia, describes their upbringing as “wild” and “amplified.”
Brie says there were also good times. Both of her parents were athletes when they were growing up, and she says that she and her siblings all had natural athletic abilities. She says her parents were “obsessed” with their children becoming athletes, so they encouraged them to pursue athletics. Brie and Bella were active in soccer as children and teenagers.
Nikki Bella was raped in high school
Nikki had difficult time in high school because she experienced sexual assault. She describes being raped at the age of 15 at a 4th of July party. She says she was a virgin at the time, and she blamed herself for the attack. She says she was also drugged and raped at the age of 17.
“The first time I was raped in high school, everything was new and was taken from me,” says Nikki. “My virginity was taken from me; my innocence was taken from me.”
Nikki Bella’s sports dreams were crushed
Nikki had dreams of become a professional soccer player, but her dream came to a crashing halt after she suffered a severe leg injury. She says her scholarships were off the table and she couldn’t go to college. (Nikki got a second chance to pursue soccer, but she decided to go a different way.)
Also, around this time, Brie suffered a major loss. Her boyfriend, Bear, was killed in a car wreck. Both Nikki and Brie felt they needed a change, so they left their home state of Arizona.
Brie and Nikki Bella worked at Hooters and grew their confidence
After graduating from high school, Brie and Nikki moved to San Diego. They needed full-time work, so they decided to work at Hooters as waitresses. At first, they hesitated because they worried about what their family would think. However, Nikki says once she heard they could make more than $100 in cash tips every night and that they were paid more than minimum wage, they were sold.
Brie learned the power of “feminine energy” while waitressing at the restaurant. “Feminine energy is the most powerful energy you could ever use,” says Brie.
Brie says she learned a lot while working at Hooters. “Sometimes women are taught to hide our feminine energy,” she says. “We’re taught not to use our voices. Let everyone else talk—be polite. Hooters taught me not to be polite; to actually speak up. It really started to blossom me into this young woman.”
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