Legendary wrestler Ric Flair is one of the most accomplished people to lace up their boots in the industry.
Flair, whose real name is Richard Morgan Fliehr, is a 16-time professional wrestler that’s best known for his high-energy promos, donning a flashy cape and living the life of luxury. He’s widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time and one of his more prominent additions to the wrestling industry is his catchphrase: “Woooo!”
In his lifetime, the 68-year-old Flair has been married four times and is currently engaged to marry Wendy Barlow.
Flair’s longest marriage is to his second wife, Elizabeth Harrell, whom he was with for almost 23 years before the relationship ended with a messy divorce.
Here’s what you need to know about Elizabeth:
1. Ric & Elizabeth Were Married for Almost 23 Years
Flair had one previous marriage prior to tying the knot with Elizabeth. He married Leslie Goodman on August 28, 1971 and they had two children together: Megan and David. They filed for divorce in 1983, however.
Shortly thereafter, Ric entered a relationship with Elizabeth, and they got married on August 27, 1983. However, after almost 23 years of marriage, they filed for divorce in 2005 and it was finalized a year later.
Elizabeth had appeared on TV during Ric’s WCW run on a few occasions between 1998 and 2000.
2. The Couple Had 2 Children Together & Her Daughter is a WWE Superstar
Ric and Elizabeth had two children together.
Ashley Elizabeth Fleihr was born on April 5, 1986 and Richard Reid Fliehr was born two years later on February 26, 1988.
Elizabeth posts photos of her two children on social media with captions throwing it back to when they were growing up.
Both of the children tried to follow in their father’s footsteps by pursuing wrestling growing up.
Ashley, who wrestles under the name “Charlotte,” ended up finding her way to the WWE. When she was 13-years old, she had a role alongside her father in World Championship Wrestling.
During her dad’s “retirement” match, she and her brother interfered to help him win.
When she was a teenager, Charlotte started training and signed a contract with the WWE in 2012 to wrestle in its developmental promotion, NXT. Shortly after she debuted, she won the NXT Women’s Championship and was named the company’s “Rookie of the Year.”
Following under her father’s wing, Charlotte continued her rise through NXT and was eventually promoted to the main roster in 2015. It didn’t take long for her talent to be recognized, as she won the WWE Divas Championship soon after arriving on the main roster.
Since then, she’s won the WWE Women’s Championship four times and is currently on the Smackdown Live! roster.
3. Elizabeth’s Son Died From an Overdose
Tragedy struck the family in 2013 when Reid was found dead by Ric inside a hotel room.
An autopsy revealed that Reid, who was 24 at the time, died of an accidental overdose of heroin and the prescription drugs clonazepam and alprazolam.
Reid was in the midst of a professional wrestling career just like his older sister. He “wrestled” two matches in WCW with the first being in October 1998 when he was just 10-years old.
Reid wrestled one more match as a child in 2000 and ramped up his wrestling career in 2008. During his father Ric’s WWE Hall of Fame induction, Reid was in attendance, and he was there the following night at WWE WrestleMania XXIV.
After that, he wrestled on the independent wrestling circuit and also spent time wrestling in All Japan Pro Wrestling, making his in-ring debut in 2013. He wrestled a singles match in Japan and traveled back to the United States after that, being found dead just 12 days later.
During Charlotte’s WWE career, Reid’s death has been used as a storyline. It happened on a November 2015 episode of WWE Raw when she signed a contract to wrestle WWE superstar Paige at a pay-per-view event.
When signing the contract, Charlotte said that she agreed to wrestled in the match as a tribute to her late brother, Reid. Paige mocked her by saying, “your little baby brother, he didn’t have much fight in him, did he?”
Watch a video of the segment below:
The controversial segment drew many negative reviews from critics and fans who said it was in very poor taste. It was revealed afterward that the WWE didn’t ask the Flair family for permission to use the reference and they were gave no prior warning to it occurring.
Ric said in an interview after the episode aired that he cried when he watched what happened.
I never heard a word about it. I started crying while I was watching it. Nobody called me and nobody’s called me today. That would indicate that they just assume that’s good.
Elizabeth had a similar reaction to her son’s tragic death being used by the company, calling the WWE writers “disgusting” and “disrespectful.”
4. Divorce Filings Accused Elizabeth of Assaulting Ric
According to a 2011 article by Grantland, Elizabeth was accused of assaulting Ric “on more than one occasion,” which led to him filing for divorce for his “safety, health and wellbeing.”
Documents obtained by the website unveiled the messy divorce between the two.
Ric’s lawyers wrote that “Beth has assaulted (Flair), striking him about the head and body in an effort to provoke him into a physical confrontation.” He accused her of being a “verbally abusive” person who “spoke in a vile and profane manner.”
Elizabeth accused Flair of similar things, what she described as “cruel and barbarous treatment.” She cited numerous reasons for her willingness to separate from her longtime husband.
Grantland wrote about those accusations in its article.
Abandoning the family, failing to provide love or affection, slapping her, kicking her, choking her, biting her, pulling her hair, verbal and emotional abuse, demeaning her in public, exposing his genitalia to the parties’ friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers, excessive use of alcohol and prescription drugs, steroid use and attendant bouts of rage and violence, adultery, exposing the children to his “paramour,” crippling them financially because of his spendthrift ways, starting a fistfight with his son Reid at a wedding reception, taking his son to a strip club and serving him alcohol, opening up wrestling scars in order to appear bloody after he called the police on her, insulting her friends with racial slurs, bragging about the size of his genitalia, calling Beth fat, old, and a slut, accusing her of dressing “sexily” for other men, saying she would be “nothing in this town” without him, demanding sex, and, finally, forcing her to have sex.
After the divorce went through, Elizabeth was reportedly awarded a lump sum of $140,000 in addition to $15,000 per month in alimony for two years. All told, the legendary wrestler owed his wife more than $700,000.
5. Elizabeth Was Tasked to Handle Financial Matters, Which Led to Back Taxes Being Owed
The Grantland article said that in 2000, Flair owed $15,000 in back texes, interest and late penalties to North Carolina dating back to 1989.
Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) received a default judgment in March for the more than $20,000 Fliehr and Elizabeth owed on a loan. Again, Fliehr chose not to make any plea or defense after the suit was filed. Matters would soon become more critical, and he could no longer afford to stay above the legal fray.
The article noted that in 1999, the couple purchased almost $20,000 worth of furniture and financed it through a North Carolina bank. Flair decided to leave the repayment to his wife, who ended up being tricked by the bank to pay over $26,000 on principle. They ended up filing a lawsuit and the case was filed out of court.
That wasn’t the end of the financial troubles, however. In 2005 a general contractor named Peter Wirth placed a lien on the Flair home in Charlotte due to over $100,000 he said was owed to him for work done on the family home.
“I will be able to get a list of people who say the Fliehr’s (sic) do not pay their bills,” Wirth wrote in a letter obtained by Grantland. “I thought of them as true friends and keep doing work for them figuring we might straighten out at the end. … Mrs. Fliehr was well aware of the past due bills and smart enough to know all of the work she asked for would have to be paid for.”