Growing up, Dwayne Johnson never saw his father smile. Now, he practices kind fatherhood and describes being Simone's dad as his "most important job."
Growing up, wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson had a complicated relationship with his father. Johnson's father Rocky believed in tough love. His father was kicked out of the house at the age of 13, rendering him homeless. That incident and other life experiences toughened him up and impacted how he raised Johnson too. "Growing up, and you know we specifically went with these timelines in my life that were very defining times at 10 years old, 15 and 18 … there's a lot of things in between those years that took place ... but it was complicated and the relationship that I had with my dad was incredibly complicated — that was fueled by tough love," Johnson said, as per PEOPLE.
"My dad was kicked out of his house at 13 and he was homeless, so that then shaped the man who then raised me," Johnson shared. "And in that complication came an extraordinary life that was full of travel. I lived in 13 different states by the time I was 13 years old, and also lived in New Zealand."
Johnson recalled that one of the most testing times of his childhood was when he was 13 and 15, as per The Sydney Morning Herald. "I fought tooth and nail with my mom and my dad [to not leave Hawaii], but times were hard for us, and it became harder and harder for us to pay the rent." The family ended up in Nashville, Tennessee, before leaving for Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Johnson had lived in three different cities within a span of nine months.
Johnson's father was a world-champion professional WWE wrestler. Despite the complicated relationship he shared with his father, he followed in his footsteps nonetheless and became a wrestler. Reminiscing about the time he spent with his late father, Johnson said in the NBC comedy Young Rock, “To me, my dad was a superhero. Sometimes, when you grow up around wrestlers, you learn lessons in very interesting ways.”
Determined to give his kid a better childhood and parenting, Johnson practiced kind parenting with his eldest daughter, Simone Johnson. According to TODAY, he spoke about his love for his daughter on Oprah’s Master Class. "I always wanted to be a great dad. I always wanted to give Simone things that I felt I never got," the ace wrestler and actor said.
Simone was born on August 14, 2001, in Davie, Florida. Johnson was married to his first wife Dany Garcia then. She mainly grew up in Florida and graduated high school in May 2019. Growing up, Simone saw her father traveling back and forth from Florida and Los Angeles, making time for family while also managing his career. Once, he flew to Miami just to spend Valentine's with Simone.
For someone who had a very troubled relationship with his father, growing up, Johnson shares a very positive, loving relationship with his daughter. The star often gets emotional talking about his daughter and how proud he is of her achievements. On Oprah's Master Class, he teared up recalling a conversation with Simone. "Throughout the years, throughout the ups and downs, I've realized that the most important thing that I could do with my daughter is lead our life with love. Not success, not fame, not anything else but, 'I'm always here for you. I love you,'" reported ABC News.
Simone followed in the footsteps of her father and became a professional wrestler as well. Though Johnson describes Simone to be 'fiercely independent,' he supported her in the background. Simone began wrestling for WWE in 2020 and was the youngest person to sign a contract with them. She now goes by the name 'Ava Rain' in the wrestling world.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Christopher Polk