SINGAPORE - Dreadlocked semi-retired pro-wrestler and commentator Booker T looks larger than life as he strolls into the interview room at the Singapore Management University last weekend.
Regarded as one of the greatest stars in World Championship Wrestling, the six-time world champion was in town over the weekend to promote World Wrestling Entertainment, which airs on SuperSports (StarHub TV Channel 202).
But whatever first impression his buff body, 1.91m frame and initial stern expression creates is quickly dispelled as he shakes hands with this reporter. There is genuine warmth in his eyes.
Throughout the 20-minute interview, the 48- year-old is gentle, courteous and forthright.
Despite the public relations brief not to ask him about his time in prison, he himself brings it up, saying he "made terrible mistakes" but has cleaned up.
In 1987, he pleaded guilty to taking part in armed robberies at Wendy's restaurants in Houston and spent 19 months in prison.
The wrestler, whose real name is Booker Tio Huffman Jr., tells Life!: "We are all going to make mistakes at some point in our lives. Hopefully, we will all get chances to fix those mistakes."
His mistakes, he says, happened when he was orphaned at age 14. "I lost focus. I got into the wrong company. Things went wrong."