A little bit of history was made this week when 32-year-old Charlotte Flair, real name Ashley Fliehr, became the first WWE star to grace the pages of ESPN’s annual Body Issue.
The four-time Women’s Champion joins 16 professional athletes from 10 different sports to have photos featured in the magazine, and espnW also ran a companion profile piece on Flair this week.
Flair is quizzed by Allison Glock as she prepares for a WWE SmackDown LIVE event, and topics include her first marriage, her brother Reid and some interesting insights into her relationship with her father, ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair.
“I did not set a good example for my kids,” Flair candidly acknowledges of his peripatetic leanings — in the early years, “I’d be gone weeks at a time, driving 3,000 miles for 600 bucks” — and four divorces. “For somebody that can make friends with anybody, I struggled with being alone.”
Fliehr continued and opened up more than ever before.
“I knew my dad had one affair in middle school,” Fliehr says. “But I didn’t think he was ever going to leave. When he moved out in 2005, everything changed.”
Gone were family beach trips to Florida, lazy fishing days and decadent dinners in which Flair would order every appetizer on the menu and hold court for huge groups of friends and relatives. Money became tight, a privation for which Fliehr had no preparation.
”Our finances just got worse and worse,” Fliehr remembers, her childhood home eventually foreclosed on, her mother bereft. The dramatic shift in circumstance left Fliehr both resentful of her father and vulnerable to men claiming they could do better.”
You can read the full profile on Charlotte Flair by ESPN at this link. It’s a great read.