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WWE cuts ties with Hulk Hogan

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) – World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has severed ties with Hulk Hogan amid a report that one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling history used racial slurs in a conversation caught on a sex tape.

The company deleted most references to Hogan on its website and issued a statement Friday saying it had terminated its contract with him.

WWE did not give a reason, but issued a statement saying it is “committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”

On Friday, a joint report from RadarOnline.com and The National Enquirer said that Hogan had used racial slurs in a conversation caught on a sex video that is the subject of an invasion of privacy lawsuit.

In a statement, the 61-year-old Hogan apologized for using “offensive language” in a conversation eight years ago.

Hogan, perhaps the biggest star in WWE’s five-decade history, was the main draw for the first WrestleMania in 1985 and was a fixture for years in its signature event.

But he was able to transcend his “Hulkamania” fan base to become a celebrity outside the wrestling world, appearing in numerous movies and television shows, including a reality show about his life on VH1, “Hogan Knows Best.”

Hogan is currently seeking $100 million from the website Gawker for posting part of the sex tape of him with Heather Cole, the ex-wife of Hogan’s one-time friend and radio show host Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.