The relationship between Nikki Bella and John Cena and its subsequent demise was headline-making news this spring and summer, as the two WWE stars had been slated to wed before Bella ultimately called their nuptials off earlier this year.
Since then, the two have talked about each other at length in the press, effectively dashing fans' hopes for any sort of reconciliation.
In a new interview with Cosmopolitan, Bella again discussed her relationship with Cena, though things were a bit different this time.
Referring to him at one point as "my ex," the 34-year-old said, “I can't say his name, legally, anymore,” with the interviewer noting that they were unsure whether or not Bella was joking.
While she didn't mention Cena by name, Bella did note that the two no longer wish to be spoken about in relation to each other.
“We’re both are at the point that we just don't want to be talked about at all together anymore,” she said. “We don't want our breakup to define us or interfere with our work. And that was happening for a while.”
She also revealed that she never wants her relationship to become such a big part of her identity that it overshadows her personal achievements.
“I don't want my relationship to define who I am, as a woman,” Bella explained. “And to take away all the hard work that I've ever done in my career."
She continued, "I think for a man, it's different. I feel like, if anything, the woman gets blamed for what happens, for taking away from what they do. But I get all my work taken away because of that. I don’t know, I feel like sometimes there's a double standard and I really have felt that. And it's been really, really hard.”
Bella called off her wedding to Cena twice — once because she couldn't sacrifice not being a mother and the second time because she realized she had lost herself throughout their five-year-long relationship. Now, she's hoping to fix that, focusing on her career and working on loving herself.
“I lost for so many years,” she shared. “That was all my fault. I'm the one who forgot about me. I have realized now to truly have a happy life, you have to give yourself so much love first and work on you in any way you can.”
The majority of Bella's relationship with Cena took place in the public eye, first on E!'s reality series Total Divas and then on Bella's own spin-off series with twin sister Brie Bella, Total Bellas. Because of this, Nikki had to relive her breakup again and again as episodes aired and she was asked about Cena in interviews, with some fans even speculating that the split was faked for ratings.
Because of that, Bella admitted that she's now wary of entering into another public relationship.0comments
“When everyone was saying what I was going through was fake for ratings and all that, and when you're really going through it, it's like, you're just, in my heartache you're literally just knifing it and just churning it," she said. “Going through all that, I don't ever want to do it again. It scares me to ever have another public relationship.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Michael Stewart