Hulk Hogan vows to 'improve as a person' in apology
Hulk Hogan has promised to "improve as a person" and has apologised for using "offensive language" in a private conversation in which he used racial slurs.
The legendary wrestler left his role with WWE today (24.07.15) amidst reports by RadarOnline.com and National Enquirer that accused him of using the 'N-word' as he made derogatory comments about his daughter Brooke Hogan's apparent love interests in a sex tape filmed without his consent several years ago.
Now Hogan has issued a statement in which he apologises for his words and insists the comments are "inconsistent with his own beliefs".
In a statement released exclusively to PEOPLE.com, he said: "Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologise for having done it.
"This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs."
He added to the publication he will use the situation to "improve as a person" and considers what has happened to be an "important learning experience."
Today, WWE removed all mentions of Hulk Hogan from its website, pulled him from series 'Tough Enough' and stopped selling his merchandise and issued a statement claiming they had "terminated" his contract.
The statement read: "WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide."
However, Hogan's lawyer David Houston has claimed the grappler resigned from the company out of respect for the organisation.
Houston said: "He decided to resign from WWE because he didn't want to put them or his family through this."
The sex tape on which Hogan is reported to have made the comments was leaked in 2012 and is currently the subject of a $100 million lawsuit brought against website Gawker - the outlet that leaked the tape - by Hogan for invasion of privacy and publication without public interest.
The sex tape was made without Hogan's consent in 2008 and features him engaged in erotic acts with Heather Clem, the now ex-wife of his former friend Bubba 'The Love Sponge' Clem.
He settled out of court his lawsuits with Heather and Bubba but his case with Gawker is set to go to court later this year.