Six months after going to jail following his no-contest plea on a reckless driving charge, Nick Bollea (a.k.a. Nick Hogan), son of Hulk Hogan, was released from jail early Tuesday morning (October 21). According to the Tampa Tribune, the 18-year-old Bollea raced into the arms of his sister, Brooke Hogan, upon his release from Pinellas County Jail, where he served 166 days of an eight-month sentence in connection with an August 2007 street racing crash that severely injured Bollea's friend, John Graziano.
Bollea, who was released early for good behavior, walked out of Pinellas County Jail at 12:30 a.m. and did not speak to photographers before getting into a sport utility vehicle and heading home. His mother, Linda Bollea, released a statement Tuesday morning asking the media to respect the family's privacy.
"This is our time as a family to come together to support Nick's adjustment back into the public life, keeping it as normal as possible," she said. "Neither Nick, nor we as a family, has any interest in making this anything but private. We respect the media's role and only ask that they respect our privacy. Nick went into prison as a juvenile and has experienced something that will mold and affect him for the rest of his adult life. His focus is to make a positive difference in this world, media-free. Since his future actions will speak louder than any words, there is no need to speak to the media at this time."
Bollea landed in jail after an August 2007 incident in which he lost control of his father's Toyota Supra while street racing in Clearwater, Florida, resulting in severe injuries to Graziano. Former Marine Graziano, who police said was not wearing a seatbelt, remains hospitalized and will need medical care for the rest of his life, according to the Tribune. Graziano's guardian sued the Bolleas in March for alleged negligence leading to the crash, and recent mediation attempts in the case have reportedly failed.
Bollea, a veteran of his father's "Hogan Knows Best" show on VH1, had said in jail that he wanted to star in his own reality show after release, an idea Graziano's lawyer, George Tragos, felt was exploitative.
"It's awful Nick is going to get a reality show because he went to jail because of the permanent harm he caused another human being," Tragos said, according to the Tribune.