By Mike Mooneyham
Aug. 25, 2001
It’s been a bad year for The King.
Several months ago Jerry Lawler got the word prior to a Smackdown taping that his wife, Stacy Carter (The Kat), was being fired in the middle of a storyline, and that he had to be the one to tell her. Taking the high road, he decided to stand up for his new bride, pack his bags along with hers, and leave behind a high-profile spot as Raw color commentator as well as more than a quarter of a million dollar salary.
Lawler then mounted an Internet campaign to rally support for Stacy, a move that backfired when he posted the e-mail addresses of members of the WWF writing team that reportedly wanted her out. Following a cooling off period, several attempts to bring Lawler back into the fold aborted at the last minute when it became apparent that the company would welcome Lawler, but not his wife, back into the fold.
[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]At the time Lawler said he was puzzled and confused by the fact that the company didn’t want Stacy, yet nobody would give him a good reason why she had been fired. Despite securing a number of weekend independent gigs for the couple, it wasn’t the WWF and it wasn’t like being in the national spotlight every week.
“Sure, it’s all taken a toll, and this has affected us and put a lot of pressure on Stacy and me,” Lawler said weeks after leaving the company. But little did he know that just months after walking out with her, she would walk out on him, asking for a divorce and the end of their one-year marriage and 12-year relationship.
Lawler, 52, says the breakup came out of left field, and that there were no signs that would have led him to believe she was considering such a move. Stacy, now 29, wasn’t out of her teens when the two met at a softball game in Memphis. It was love at first sight, Lawler says, and the two enjoyed a great relationship – until now.
Last month Stacy went alone to their Florida condo, and when she returned to Memphis, broke the news that she wasn’t happy anymore. “It’s not you. I feel the need to be myself,” she told Lawler.
“It was a big shocker to me,” Lawler said Thursday. “Had I known this was going to happen, I certainly wouldn’t have left the WWF. But hindsight’s 20-20. I had no way of knowing.”
“They were trying to protect Lawler,” said a WWF source, who verified that Stacy has been seeing a member of the WWF’s developmental camp in Louisville.
Lawler, whose color spot was taken over by Paul Heyman, saw another member of his family booted when his son, Brian (“Grandmaster Sexay” Brian Christopher), was fired by the WWF in May after being stopped at the Canadian border with illegal drugs.
To add to The King’s woes, his cousin, Wayne Ferris, better known in wrestling circles as The Honky Tonk Man, has launched an Internet campaign smearing Lawler’s name.
Lawler said Ferris approached him several months ago about staging an Internet “feud,” and Lawler told him he wasn’t interested. Unfortunately, said Lawler, “that seems to be the only way he can draw attention to himself.”
“He’s just trying to work an angle on the Internet,” Lawler added. “He wrote me an e-mail saying it was just a work. `Write me back, we can really work these marks with this thing,’ is what he said. He gave me his telephone number, but I wasn’t even going to acknowledge it.”
In recent weeks Ferris has threatened to sue Lawler over what he claims are unpaid video royalties owed to him and others who worked for Lawler’s Memphis-based promotion years ago.
“When I read where one promoter says he showered his girl friend with cars, furs and diamonds, I want to puke,” Ferris wrote on his Web site. “I know that is money stolen from the wrestlers. This guy is still selling videos of us and has a weekly TV show where he is making a profit off showing the tapes on TV. I didn’t sign a release. Did you? Does he own your work product? No. Is there a statue of limitations? Not if he is currently selling the videos or marketing any tapes.”[ad#MikeMooneyham-468×15]
“Does he think every wrestler can go back and sue everybody they ever wrestled for in the past? I don’t even pay any attention to him,” said Lawler. “I just ignore him. I haven’t even seen one thing that he’s written.”
Lawler is still appearing on independent shows and recently added a valet named Donna to his King’s Court.