Before the world was introduced to the Kardashian clan, another reality TV family reigned supreme.
WWE legend Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) and his family welcomed viewers into their home on July 10, 2005, on the hit VH1 series Hogan Knows Best. With TV cameras rolling and reality television a relatively newer concept, there was no instruction manual on how to navigate the drama-filled landscape and tense moments that began to seep into the family's dynamic and the press.
Ahead of the show's 16th anniversary, Distractify spoke exclusively with Brooke Hogan, who reflected on filming the series as a rising teen pop star, as well as her current relationship with her mom, dad, and brother following her parents' tumultuous divorce in 2009.
'Hogan Knows Best' star Brooke Hogan reflected on filming the reality series.
In the mid-2000s, a then 16-year-old Brooke was trying to make a name for herself — not in the world of professional wrestling, but in the music industry as a pop singer.
"I mean it was this crazy concept of having cameras follow you around 24/7; it was so weird," Brooke told us. Cameras captured the playful family banter between the foursome, and Brooke noted that overall it was "a positive filming experience," partially thanks to the "great production company" the family worked with.
However, she added that as the show progressed there are things that she does look back and "regret showing" or allowing cameras to capture.
Brooke noted that after Season 1, while the storylines of Hogan Knows Best were "very true to life," it was a bit "exaggerated." But, one plot point that was not fabricated was the growing tension between her parents.
Brooke Hogan says her family dynamic makes her "sad."
In 2007, audiences not only said goodbye to the Hogan Knows Best family, but Linda Hogan announced she was filing for divorce from the wrestling legend.
"Something that kind of stunk about my parents' divorce is that it left my brother and I, just our whole family sprawled out and imploded," she told Distractify. "We just went in every direction. I think I moved like 16 times."
With Hulk and Linda involved in an intense divorce battle, Brooke revealed that she was "back and forth" between her parents, feeling as though she had to pick a side. The current Nashville resident explained that due to all of the family drama, she found it hard to enjoy her youth because she felt obligated to try and please everyone around her.
"The family dynamic, being completely genuine with you, it makes me sad," Brooke said. "It really does. I mean my mom and I don't talk, which is kind of like our third stint of going and doing that, and it is sad." She added, "We haven't been able to have that breakthrough but I'm hopeful though for the future."
She continued, "I think [my mom] and my dad are still going through legal stuff right now. I hope in the future ... when the dust settles with that, we can make time to see each other."
While Brooke hopes to one day reconcile with her mother, she said that her dad and brother Nick "have been the most consistent relationship" in her life.
Nick is currently living in Las Vegas with his girlfriend while Hulk is living a total "beach bum" lifestyle in Florida.
"I think slowly but surely our family is healing. I don't think we're there yet but I think it's still way better than it was," she noted.
Now, Brooke is set on expanding her BB Designs by Brooke business, releasing new (and some old) music, and overall just focusing on herself while continuing to "hustle."