Wrestling legend Ric Flair, who is in critical condition, was married four times, unions that were, in some cases, marked by acrimony, abuse allegations, and headlines.
Flair, 68, known as “Nature Boy,” is considered by many fans to be one of WWE’s best wrestlers in its history. His personal life has been as dramatic and flashy as his wrestling career. He is divorced four times and engaged to be married a fifth time. The pattern throughout his life was to marry another woman a few months after leaving a wife.
Flair’s marriages were, in order, to Leslie Goodman, Elizabeth Harrell, Tiffany Vandemark, and Jackie Beems. Ric Flair doesn’t currently have a wife. He is engaged to Wendy Barlow. Some of the marriages ruptured into ugliness in court proceedings.
Barlow wrote in a Facebook post of Flair’s condition, which worsened on August 16, “Just want to give an update to my friends and family as I have been unable to talk on the phone without crying and just feel shocked over events. I took Ric to the hospital Friday night with severe abdominal pain. From that moment on it all seems like a nightmare … multiple organ problems.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Flair Had Two Children With His First Wife, Leslie Goodman
Ric Flair’s first marriage was fairly long-lasting, resulted in two children, and didn’t end up a media spectacle. The children were David – who is also a professional wrestler – and Megan. Flair’s real name was Richard Morgan Fliehr. Above is a photo Megan Fliehr posted to her Facebook page that shows her brother, Reid, from her father’s second marriage.
David wrestled using the name David Flair. He won numerous tag team titles. You can see a rundown of David Flair’s wrestling career here.
“Leslie and Ric married in 1971 and went on to have two children. The couple were married for more than a decade when they announced that they had filed for divorce in 1983,” reported Sportster.
“The marriage is one of the only ones that didn’t end in a media circus of court proceedings and it seems that it was ended amicably between the two former partners.”
Leslie now goes by the last name Jacobs. She is from Minnesota and lives in Colorado.
2. Ric Was Married to Elizabeth Harrell for More Than Two Decades
Flair’s second marriage, to Elizabeth Harrell, also produced two children, Reid and Ashley, and it lasted even longer than his first: 23 years. Tragedy struck the Flair family in 2013, when Reid was found dead in a hotel room of an accidental overdose. He had heroin and other drugs in his system, according to TMZ.
Harrell was Flair’s longest marriage. The marriage also had allegations of abuse. According to Grantland, “In a 2005 divorce case with Elizabeth Harrell — wife no. 2 — Flair’s lawyers lodged accusations against Beth.”
The Bleacherreport, in an expose on Flair’s troubled behavior, described a litany of bad behaviors – allegedly by Ric Flair. They ranged from alleged abuse to racial slurs to parading around a mistress.
Ashley, the daughter of Elizabeth and Ric Flair, is a well-known wrestler too; she is known as “Charlotte” on the professional wrestling circuit.
Ashley AKA Charlotte wrote on Instagram, “Hi guys, On behalf of my family and I, we want to THANK everyone for the prayers, texts, calls and support. Our Dad is a FIGHTER and your continued thoughts and prayers MEAN THE WORLD to us. ??? We will update everyone when we have more information. ???❤️””
3. Tiffany Vandemark, Flair’s Third Wife, Was a Fitness Instructor
The marriage between Flair and Tiffany Vandemark was relatively short-lived and did not produce children. It was also tumultuous, according to Grantland, which reported, “In 2009, Flair filed a criminal complaint against Tiffany Vandemark — wife no. 3 — whom he accused of ‘hitting him in the face with a phone charger.'”
You can see a photo of Flair with Vandemark here.
Tiffany’s Facebook page today demonstrates a happy life and is filled with photos of her in athletic pursuits and showcasing her fitness.
She writes on LinkedIn, “I’m fortunate to be “doing what I love and having fun doing it”—and making sure it’s a win for everyone involved.
I pride myself on my motivation and results-oriented leadership. I am passionate about leading and building teams to accomplish strategic goals. And the best part? Being a winner.” According to LinkedIn, she is CEO of Vandemark Partners, a firm that does branding and marketing, and previously worked on other marketing projects and for wellness initiatives.
One recommendation on her LinkedIn page read, “Tiffany is a force of nature with her positive spirit, energy and above all infectious disposition. She is also an accomplished team leader, brand strategist, innovator and entrepreneur.”
However, back then, things were rough in the marriage.
According to The Bleacherreport, Ric Flair repeatedly battled financial problems. The article recounts one disturbing anecdote, reporting that “When Flair and third wife Tiffany Vandemark met with a local restaurateur Greg Leon about a loan, Flair offered the engagement ring on her finger as collateral.”
The ugly allegations flew. A Bleacherreport author alleges, “Flair and Vandemark had their own ugly divorce. I had known that she had taken some of his possessions like an old ring robe and sold them to wrestling fans, but that was just the start of it. I’ll just quote the article here: ‘She allegedly broke into the home using a shovel. In the process, she destroyed five ‘Flair Bear’ stuffed animals and took 25. Also taken from Fliehr’s house were 12 action figures, two handguns, three robes, a ruby necklace, and Fliehr’s dog.” Those were accusations, reported BleacherReport, outlined in the lengthy Grantland story.
Grantland reported that Tiffany and Flair separated two years into their marriage.
4. Flair’s Marriage to Jackie Beems Led to a Domestic Violence Accusation
The marriage between Ric Flair and Jackie Beems also ruptured spectacularly. She was accused of abusing the wrestler. In 2010, the Associated Press reported, that Beems was “reportedly arrested…after she allegedly attacked the the WWE Hall of Famer and left him bloodied and bruised.”
According to UK Daily Mail, the charges were dropped for lack of evidence.
“Beems reportedly used her teeth, arms and legs in a dispute with her husband last night in their home in North Carolina,” reported AP. In 2012, UK Daily Mail reported, “Professional wrestling legend Ric Flair called police to stop his wife from beating him, according to reports, the second he has needed authorities to intervene during a fight with his spouse.”
Flair and Jackie married in 2009 and were divorced by 2012.
TMZ reported that court documents showed Jackie alleged: “Husband has had numerous intimate relationships with other women during the parties’ marriage, to the embarrassment and humiliation of wife.” Flair’s lawyer denied the allegations to TMZ.
In 2013, TMZ reported that an arrest warrant was issued for Jackie – sometimes called by her more formal name, Jacqueline – after accusations she made “a series of harassing phone calls” to Flair’s new girlfriend, Wendy Barlow.
5. Flair Is Engaged to Barlow, Who Was Once Known as ‘Fifi the Maid’
Flair moved on to a new woman, but he decided to keep her as his fiancee, and they had not yet married. Barlow met Flair when the two worked together in World Championship Wrestling. They’ve been engaged for a year.
Flair and Barlow met through wrestling circles. Barlow was known as “Fifi the Maid” in wrestling promotions. The pair once appeared on the show Celebrity Wife Swap.
Barlow’s the mother to four children of her own.
Flair wrote on one photo of Barlow on Instagram, “Finer Than Summer Time Wine ?.”