CLEARWATER — Linda Hogan is using at least part of the $40,000 a month she receives in alimony from her estranged husband, Hulk Hogan, to buy illicit drugs, a witness said in court Monday.
Linda's former hairdresser, Tracy Morgan, testified that she cashed several checks for her former client, who said she needed the money to buy prescription pills.
"She was actually buying drugs with the money," Morgan said. "She told me that."
Morgan's testimony came during a two-hour hearing for a judge to consider wrestler Hulk Hogan's motion to reduce the amount of alimony he's paying. Hulk Hogan's real name is Terry Bollea.
Morgan, who said she has been a friend of the Hogan family for about a decade, gave the most scathing testimony of the afternoon, saying Linda asked her to cash the checks so she could mislead her husband's attorneys about how she is spending their joint assets.
Linda Hogan's attorney, Ray Rafool, called Morgan's testimony "a complete fabrication." He said his client had written checks to Morgan in advance of salon services to help Morgan because she has a terminally ill granddaughter and had expressed financial difficulty.
Rafool also said in court that it was impossible for Morgan to know if the money in question came from alimony or the roughly $750,000 Linda Hogan had in her bank account before she began receiving alimony.
Morgan, 45, also said that Linda Hogan bought and served alcohol to minors and let them do drugs during a house party the evening that her son, Nick Bollea was released from jail.
Bollea served 51/2 months on a reckless driving charge for his role in the August 2007 crash that injured his friend, John Graziano, then 22. Morgan said Linda Hogan got nervous when she saw on television that Nick was about to be released and scurried to get the house cleaned up before he arrived.
Morgan also testified that:
• Linda Hogan was "vindictive" and once said, "She'd burn the house down on Willadel (Drive in Belleair) before she'd let him move back into it."
• She would have to close her business, Salon Forte in Tampa, to other customers when Linda Hogan had an appointment. "She's always drunk when she's in the salon and gets belligerent," Morgan said. "It's embarrassing."
• Linda Hogan once told her that her favorite combination for a high was smoking marijuana and taking roxycodone pills.
Linda Hogan has denied allegations that she is using drugs and recently submitted to a voluntary drug screening that came up clean. But attorneys for Hulk Hogan have said they can't believe the test results because it was not verified independently.
Three other witnesses were called to the stand Monday. One man said he met Linda Hogan on Clearwater Beach over Memorial Day weekend and saw behavior that made him believe she was snorting cocaine. Rafool said that was absurd because his client was well aware that she was being photographed by paparazzi at the time.
A personal shopper for Linda Hogan testified that she spent thousands of dollars on her boyfriend, Charlie Hill, at Nordstrom's and Ocean Drive Fashion at International Plaza. But the man said he did not know if the money used for those purchases came from Linda's alimony money or her personal bank account.
And a longtime employee of the United States Postal Service said Linda Hogan approached him last fall about buying his customized Nissan 350Z. The man said Linda Hogan said she would have to give him a check written out to cash to keep the purchase off the radar of her estranged husband's attorneys.
Hulk Hogan's lawyers still have several other witnesses to testify. The hearing is scheduled to continue on July 23.
In August, the couple, also known as Terry and Linda Bollea, agreed to a temporary agreement that would give Linda $40,000 a month in alimony for a year. Linda Hogan filed for divorce in November 2007 after more than two decades of marriage.
But David Houston, one of Hulk Hogan's attorneys, said he believes Linda Hogan is being dishonest and financially irresponsible with the couple's money as they face "horrific" liability in a multimillion dollar personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of Graziano.
Graziano, who suffered severe brain injuries in the crash, remains hospitalized at James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa and may need ongoing medical care for the rest of his life.
"We believe … that the money is simply not being put to good use," said David Houston, an attorney for Hulk Hogan. "It's being wasted and obviously on things that we feel are inappropriate."