Jeanie Clarke was the special guest on the newest episode of Total Engagement with Matt Koon and the former Lady Blossom talked in-depth about her experience with the late Gino Hernandez, who was the featured subject of the latest episode of Viceland’s Dark Side Of The Ring series. Being Hernandez’s neighbor and friend for a time, Clarke talks about her first interaction with Gino, his drug use and the last time she saw the WCCW star alive. Quotes are below:
Jeanie Clarke on how over The Von Erichs and The Dynamic Duo were at the Cotton Bowl Extravaganza in 1984:
I remember them kind of jogging to the ring and the crowd were going crazy for them, I mean they were. They were like big as the Dallas Cowboys. I mean, just amazing. That match was really exciting. I think after that match is probably the first time that I actually went anywhere with Gino as a friend of Chris [Adams] and Toni’s, but yeah, it was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe how over they were.
Her first wild interaction with Gino Hernandez and him pulling out of gun because of paranoia due to drug use:
Well at that match, the hair match, I was a guest of Chris and Toni and well after that match, Gino came knocking on the door and he was like, “Oh my God, my hair” and his eyes were really big, quite glassy…that was the first time that I kind of thought, “Wow, he’s really crazy” because he was fun, fun crazy, yeah, and I got into his Porsche and he kind of like put his foot down like starting about 100 miles an hour and he was looking at me and it was like, “You know, slow down.” He knew it was like really fast that he was driving.
“Go ahead and take this.” It was a tiny little piece of paper and I didn’t know what he was really on about and we got to the nightclub and everybody was happy and laughing and I noticed that whatever it was on that paper was making me a little bit high so I wanted to go to the bathroom and I just remember going all over around the…nightclub and my feet were like going into clouds and Gino was laughing and then it was after that that he’d actually given me acid. So that was the first experience I had with Gino.
That night when we left there, we went into his apartment. He said, “have a couple drinks.” That was the night that he got super paranoid. When we went into the apartment he had this cupboard above his sink area and he took out a bong.
It was actually full of cocaine and he started using quite a lot of that. And then maybe 30 or 40 minutes later he got super paranoid and I don’t really understand where that was coming from at the time, but he got really quiet and he put the plug into the sink. He turned on the water really fast so it was kind of coming over the top of the sink and dripping onto the floor. My natural reaction was, “what are you doing?” And I put my hand into the sink to pull the plug out and he grabbed my arm and he kind of pulled me back. He didn’t hurt me or anything like that, he just pulled me back and he didn’t want me to pull the plug out the sink and he had quite a tight grip around my waist. He told me not to speak. All you could hear is the sound of the water dripping onto the floor. And we probably stood there for like 15 or 20 minutes and I kind of got to twist around a bit and look over my shoulder at him and that’s when I saw he had a gun.
On the last time she saw Gino:
I just remember saying to him, “Well have a good evening and talk to you later.” That was the very last time I saw him alive, from the balcony. He was driving, he was normal Gino. The next day I didn’t see him go out, but his car was parked. I saw Gino’s Porsche and Gino was very, very, very tidy person. His apartment was always immaculate and everything was always clean and tidy including his car and he wouldn’t have normally parked his car the way it was parked because the car was out of alignment and the wheels were kind of going off to the left. I just caught a glimpse and thought, “Well Gino’s car’s not parked…” and I didn’t really think too much of it. And we went off for the day and came back that evening which would have been the Friday. I saw his car parked like that again and well, he hadn’t moved his car.
The car not being not moved again over the weekend…I did actually knock on Gino’s door and cause I’d thought and go and see if he’s okay, could see through that the blinds of the door, the pie box on the table and his jacket there and I thought, “well, I hope he’s okay.” Bear in mind, I was in my twenties and I was aware that he had a lot of cocaine that one night. I didn’t have Kevin’s number, I didn’t have David Manning’s number. Maybe I should call the police and check up on him. What if he was in there and he had that coke? Too frightened. Maybe if I was older and wiser and thought who could I call? Should I try and locate somebody? Go to the Sportatorium or something? I did say to my friend Vicki, “This is really worrying.” And then I saw the blue lights of the ambulance. I kind of thought, “Oh my God, I wonder if that’s Gino,” to be honest, and I went there and I did see a few people I didn’t which would I do know now would have been like Kevin and David Manning, but I wouldn’t have known at that time. No disrespect to Gino because he’d had actually passed for several days. You know the odor was there and they actually rolled out his body and I had sort of a sense of denial…”This can’t be real,” you know?
Clarke also talks about how Gino lived the gimmick, how he was the most charismatic person she’s ever met and addresses the rumors of foul play. You can listen to the full episode of Total Engagement below: