The Truth About Charlotte Flair And Ric Flair's Relationship

Ric Flair, whose real name is Richard Fliehr, is considered by many to be the best wrestler of all-time. He passed the torch to his daughter Charlotte Flair (real name Ashley Fliehr), who became a WWE superstar herself. The Memphis, Tenn. native had two children, David and Megan with his first wife, and later had Charlotte and Reid Flair with his second wife, Elizabeth Flair.

In a revealing dual memoir Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, Ric often referred to his downfalls as a parent during Charlotte's childhood due to his traveling schedule and rock star party antics. During the daughter's section of the book, she insisted that Ric was a much better parent than he gives himself credit for, and she fondly reflected on times he would show up and bring her lunch at school, according to the New York Post. Years later, Charlotte would adopt many of her father's mannerisms in the ring as she used his signature chops and a finishing move that was an updated version of his iconic figure four leglock. Initially, the family plan was for Reid to fill Ric's shoes and be wrestling successor. "I had never said, 'Hey dad, I want to be a WWE Superstar,'" Charlotte told Digital Spy. "It was something my brothers aspired to be."

When Charlotte's brother died in 2013, it redefined the relationship she has with Ric — we explore below how their bond has transformed throughout the years.

How Reid Flair's death affected Charlotte and Ric

The Flair family received devastating news in March 2013 when they found out that Reid Flair had died from an accidental overdose, TMZ reported. Before his death, Reid got arrested for drug possession in 2009, per Newsday.

Reid was an accomplished wrestler, and he was the one who helped start Charlotte's career. "[Reid] opened the door for me to see that I could be a part of this industry and in WWE," Charlotte wrote in 2017's Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, per the New York Post. "I spent so many years trying to save my brother's life and ultimately he saved mine." Years later, in February 2021, the WWE diva revealed that immersing herself in the world of wrestling was crucial in coping with her brother's death. She told CBS that her rise in wrestling helped reinvigorate Ric when "it could've been rock bottom after my brother passed away."

Long before he was involved in her wrestling career, Ric made headlines for protecting his daughter outside of the ring.

Ric Flair fought his daughter's boyfriend

Police were called to the scene after neighbors reported hearing a fight in September 2008 — as covered by WRAL between Ric Flair and his daughter's boyfriend, Riki Johnson. The reported fight had finished when cops arrived, but Ric admitted that there had been an altercation. When authorities questioned Ric about the reported dust-up, he was allegedly "elusive," and police said, "He just wanted everything forgotten."

Both Ric and Charlotte Flair opened up about the altercation in their joint book. Charlotte described Johnson — who she eventually married — as a man with a raging temper. Ric wrote about the night in question and how the wrestling legend intervened when Johnson was allegedly shouting at his daughter. "I got up and said, 'Do you think you're a man behaving this way? You're not a man,'" Rec wrote, per The State. Ric also alleged, "Ashley's boyfriend exploded in a fury and started throwing punches at me." The Nature Boy said that the situation escalated when police arrived, and Charlotte became combative. "Her boyfriend assaulted me, I had bruises on my face, and somehow my daughter, who tried to be the peacekeeper, was arrested," he claimed in the book. Charlotte stayed with Johnson and married him in 2010, but the two were divorced by 2011.

The fight aside, why did Ric and Charlotte fall out in the first place? As it turns out, Ric's divorce from Charlotte's mother played a notable role.

Wrestling brought the family back together

Charlotte Flair admitted in the book Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte that she held resentment towards her Ric Flair after he married Tiffany VanDemark not long after divorcing Charlotte's mother, according to The State. Both Charlotte and her brother Reid Flair made a scene at the wedding by getting belligerently drunk. "On our way out, we saw Ashley (Charlotte) passed out on the side of a walkway at the hotel. We knew seeing her dad get remarried was not easy," wrestling legend and friend to the Flair family, Triple H, noted in the book.

Charlotte and her father's relationship remained fractured for a couple of years after the wedding, but they were able to bury the hatchet following Ric's retirement match which Charlotte attended. "Wrestling kept him away from his family more than he wanted, but it was wrestling that brought us back together," she wrote in the book. 

Despite the strife, Ric and Charlotte are closer than ever. In book excerpts obtained by the New York Post, she described her dad as her "best friend" and wrote, "I can call my dad at 3 o'clock in the morning and I know he is going to answer." She posted a heartfelt tribute to Ric on Instagram for Father's Day 2020 that included the lyrics to "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle. "There's two things I know for sure / She was sent here from heaven / And she's daddy's little girl," Charlotte's touching post read.