With the ease of discovering one’s ancestry and familial relations with services like 23andMe and Ancestry.com, more and more people are learning strange pieces of trivia about their extended family. Sometimes, if you’re like Ben Affleck, you find out that your family definitely owned slaves. That one sucks, but alas, such is the roulette wheel of uncovering the history of your ancestry. On the other hand, sometimes you get some great news. Take, for example, the five people that learned that they’re the Rock’s half-siblings.
Greg Oliver, via Sports Illustrated, reports that the Rock’s father, territory wrestling star Rocky Johnson, fathered five different children that were previously unaware of each other.
Rocky Johnson’s other kids know, though, that when they talk about Rocky, it’s inevitable that people will think they have their sights set on the eighth—and most famous—of his known children. If they think much about Johnson at all, they say it’s largely as the child their father did embrace. “All I ever saw on TV was Rocky talking about Dwayne and how proud he was,” says Lisa. “And it was really painful.
That dynamic was put under a spotlight in 2008 when Dwayne introduced his father at Rocky’s WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and again on the NBC sitcom YoungRock, which for the last two seasons has detailed various aspects of Dwayne’s childhood, including his complicated relationship with his dad (played by Joseph Lee Anderson). Rocky is portrayed at times as a loving husband and father, and other times as a con artist and thief. Trevor has watched both seasons. “They touch on the positive and negative side of growing up with Rocky as a father,” he says. “I respect that they didn’t try to sugarcoat it.”
That’s a Rocky thing, though; not a Rock thing. The siblings acknowledge that. Adrian: “Dwayne has nothing to do with the decisions that his dad made; he doesn’t even know who we are.” And Lisa: “Dwayne doesn’t owe us anything.”
While the story is news to the public, the five siblings have quietly developed a bond over the last couple of years. The Sports Illustrated article discusses how growing up without a father scarred each sibling. However, the story ends on a hopeful note, with each of Johnson’s children finding comfort and support in their recently discovered siblings.
Stories like Rocky Johnson’s aren’t atypical to the nature of touring wrestlers from the pre-WWE territory era of pro wrestling. If you want to dive deeper into the story, wrestling legend and historian Jim Cornette recently interviewed Greg Oliver, the article’s author, on his podcast, which is linked below.