A new exposé has revealed five unknown children that late WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson (Wayde Bowles) fathered while touring North America as a pro wrestler.
The lengthy piece was written by Greg Oliver of Slam Wrestling in Canada, for the Sports Illustrated website. You can find the full article at this link. It was noted that none of the children, who are all now adults, were ever publicly acknowledged by Johnson, but DNA has confirmed the parentage.
The SI piece tells the story of Lisa Purves, Paula Parsons, Adrian Bowles, Trevor Edwards, and Aaron Fowler. Lisa believes there are still other children out there that Johnson fathered and left behind, and she is searching for those people. Lisa, who has some experience in the film industry, has been working on a documentary about the family situation, which she called a personal project.
Johnson had some brief contact with some of his children, and once hung up on daughter Lisa when she reached out at the age of 18. Johnson talked to others by phone and promised to visit, but never did. The children began connecting after Johnson passed away in January 2020, and they’ve been welcomed as nieces and nephews by Johnson’s brother, Ricky Johnson (Jay Bowles), who was also a pro wrestler. Ricky seems to be a big part of the story as far as bringing the siblings together goes. It was noted that Rocky made little effort to connect all of his children.
The five children do not put any blame on Johnson’s other son, WWE Legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Trevor remembers The Rock gaining popularity around 2000, and how people used to tell him he looked like The Rock.
Lisa said she stayed in Canada, in part, to avoid ever crossing paths with her famous half brother as he worked in the same industry.
“I never wanted to run into Dwayne and have anyone know I was his bastard sister,” she said, adding that when Rock came to Vancouver in 2017 to film “Skyscraper” and everyone seemed to have a celebrity-sighting story, there was a mental toll. She said she went into a depression and could “barely function” for months, crying every day and feeling unworthy, unlovable, and undeserving of her success.
However, she is careful not to place any blame on Rock today.
“Every time I turned around, on the news: Oh, my God, Dwayne Johnson’s in town! I couldn’t get away from it,” Lisa said. “It’s not that I don’t like him. It’s just, when I look at him, I don’t see him. I only see that our dad loved him and not me.”
All five of The Rock’s half siblings make it clear that this is not a story about Rock, who has called his own relationship with Rocky as being “incredibly complicated.” Johnson also has two children from his first marriage, Curtis and Wanda, who he thanked in his 2008 WWE Hall of Fame speech.
It was noted that if the five children do think much about The Rock at all, they say it’s largely as the child their father did embrace.
“All I ever saw on TV was Rocky talking about Dwayne and how proud he was,” Lisa said. “And it was really painful.”
They also acknowledge how that’s a Rocky thing, not a Rock thing. Adrian said, “Dwayne has nothing to do with the decisions that his dad made; he doesn’t even know who we are.”
Lisa added, “Dwayne doesn’t owe us anything.”
“We just want to be recognized,” Paula said. “We sat on the back burner forever. [Rocky] was our dad just as well as Dwayne’s.”
Lisa said her documentary, tentatively titled “Just Call Me Lisa,” is still in production. She noted that Wanda and Curtis declined to participate in the project, and her request to The Rock’s team went unanswered. Lisa said she’s already faced personal attacks over the film, but she wanted people to know, “I’m [talking about this] now because I have been silent my whole life about what hurts me the most. It’s time to finally have my voice heard, so I can be free of my painful past.”
Ricky noted that Rocky was aware of some of the children he fathered, outside of the three he acknowledges, and the fact that Rocky didn’t keep up with those children was a point of conflict in the relationship between Ricky and Rocky. Their tag team was not mentioned at all in Rocky’s “Soulman” autobiography, and the children were also not mentioned in the book.
“We talked many times, just me and him, one on one,” Ricky said. “We fought about [the way he treated his family], argued about it. That’s the way he chose to live his life.”
The Rock has not publicly commented on the story as of this writing.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.