The Moment That Ruined Logan Paul And The Rock's Relationship

The following article includes mentions of suicide.

Logan Paul, the YouTuber and actor-turned-wrestler, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a seasoned pro in both areas, might both know their way around a wrestling ring, but pals? That might be a bit of a stretch — at least for now. Surprisingly, the two did strike up a friendship way back when — up until The Rock decided to distance himself from Paul completely. Let's just say that Paul has no one to blame but himself for that friendship breakup.

Paul and The Rock's friendship traces back to 2016 when Paul surprised his followers by teaming up with the WWE superstar. Paul wasn't shy about his near-worship for The Rock at the time, gushing to his viewers that he was "the best person on earth at this moment." They apparently met on the set of "Baywatch," where Paul had a cameo that was ultimately edited out. In a guest appearance on "The Kris Fade Show" podcast, Paul confessed that The Rock was the sole celebrity who truly intimidated him. "I don't get starstruck. I do not. And when I was next to The Rock for the first time, I was shaking like a little girl. He's my idol. He's the one guy who I actually resonate with in Hollywood," he said.

The bromance blossomed on YouTube, with both stars featuring on each other's channels, though good luck trying to find those videos now. Their collabs came to an abrupt halt at the tail end of 2017 when Paul found himself in the middle of that Japan forest controversy, a moment that tanked his reputation and nearly ended his career.

The Rock cut ties with Logan after the Japan forest controversy

In December 2017, Logan Paul broke the internet for all the wrong reasons. He uploaded a vlog from Japan's Aokigahara forest, colloquially known as the "suicide forest," a place notorious for its tragic history of suicides. He titled it "We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest" and touted it as "the most real vlog I have ever posted on this channel." Unfortunately, the video included uncensored footage of an apparent suicide victim, sparking outrage far and wide. YouTube removed Paul from its Google Preferred program as a result, and he eventually pulled the video himself. He also issued an apology video, saying that he had a "severe and continuous lapse in my judgment."

This controversy certainly didn't endear him to The Rock, whose personal connections to mental health issues made the incident particularly appalling. "DJ was one of the people I hurt because of his mother's experience ... I hurt him," he said on his podcast "Impaulsive" opposite John Cena. Apparently, the fallout was brutal: The Rock demanded Paul erase all traces of their collaborations and stopped communicating with him entirely. "He basically wanted nothing to do with me, and rightfully so. I let down my hero." But even Paul admitted he'd have done exactly the same if he was in The Rock's shoes. "A guy in his position doesn't want to be affiliated with a person who has done something as reprehensible as that," he said.

Is there any hope for reconciliation?

The Rock has been candid about his own battles with depression, and once shared with Express that there was a time in his life when he had lost all hope. "I reached a point where I didn't want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly," he recalled. He also spoke of a distressing incident during his teenage years when, after losing their apartment, his mother attempted suicide. "She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic," he revealed. Given these experiences, it's no wonder he chose to disassociate himself from Logan Paul following the controversy.

But Paul revealed that The Rock had actually attempted to reach out to him on social media, so there may be a chance for the two to reconnect. "He did, maybe three months ago. Like nothing ever happened," he shared on the "True Geordie" podcast in June 2022. However, Paul admits he's at a loss about how to re-engage with his once-idol, especially after feeling abruptly discarded, and not directly by The Rock but through his publicist. "He's busy. He doesn't owe me s**t. I want to be clear, but damn I'd be lying ... it hurt," he confessed. "I've wanted to have a conversation with him about it, but I don't know what to say.... I'm still stuck on, 'Hey bro, hey kid, I know we were cool, I don't want f***ing anything to do with you.' I'm still stuck on that... I can't forget about it."

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