AJ Lee felt disrespected when she was asked to act crazy.
In 2012, Lee (now known as AJ Brooks) was at the top of her division and involved in multiple segments on television as part of an ongoing storyline with Daniel Bryan. But, at one point she was taken off of Live Events as punishment for not agreeing to a storyline, according to Brooks. She told The New York Post, that WWE asked her to portray a mentally ill person by having hallucinations and other cartoonish behavior. Brooks refused to do the storyline and character because she felt like it added to a stigma of those suffering from mental illness. Brooks has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder since her teen years.
"It felt like it disrespected both me and my mother. It was a joke, but, to me, it wasn’t something to laugh at. It’s hard to not think you’re alone in the world, so it’s good to connect with other people who’ve faced the same issues...I want to show that they’re not something that’s going to stop you. My memoir is called ‘Crazy Is My Superpower’ because whatever you are ashamed of or feel insecure about, you can harness into your greatest strength," said Brooks.
Brooks left WWE in 2014, months before her future Husband CM Punk left WWE in a much more conflictive environment. Brooks stayed in WWE a few months after CM Punk left, but eventually left because of nagging injuries. She married CM Punk, aka Phil Brooks, a few months after leaving WWE. Her memoir Crazy Is My Super Power is available at bookstores now and follows her life, wrestling career, and battles with her bi-polar disorder.
The interview with The New York Post can be found at nypost.com.