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‘Embarrassed’ Dana White apologizes for slapping wife in video

Updated January 3, 2023 - 9:00 am

UFC president Dana White said he was embarrassed by his actions in a video released by TMZ on Monday that showed him and his wife slapping each other at a nightclub in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on New Year’s Eve.

“You’ve heard me say for years, there’s never, ever an excuse for a guy to put his hands on a woman, and now here I am on TMZ talking about it,” the Las Vegan told the website. “My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years, we’ve known each other since we were 12 years old. We’ve obviously been through some (expletive) together. We’ve got three kids and this is one of those situations that’s horrible. I’m embarrassed, but it’s also one of those situations that right now, we’re more concerned about our kids.”

In the video, White and his wife Anne were with a group in what appeared to be a VIP section above the main dance floor at El Squid Roe. At one point in the video that is less than a minute long, she has her hands over her face and he appears to put his hand on her wrist to pull it away. As they exchange words, she slaps him and he immediately responds by slapping her back. Other members of the group immediately intervene in the dispute.

White said that was the beginning and end of the spat and that the couple continued their vacation and are still in Cabo.

Anne White issued a statement to TMZ.

“Dana and I have been married for almost 30 years,” she said. “To say this is out of character for him is an understatement — nothing like this has ever happened before. Unfortunately, we were both drinking too much on New Year’s Eve and things got out of control, on both sides.

“We’ve talked this through as a family and apologized to each other. I just hope people will respect our privacy for the sake of our kids.”

Dana White said the couple sat down with their children to show them the video and discuss the incident and the attention it was sure to receive.

“We’re more focused on our family right now,” he said. “People are going to have opinions on this, and most of the people’s opinions would be right, especially in my case. You don’t put your hands on a woman ever. My wife and I love each other. We’ve been together for a very long time. We’ve known each other since we were very little, and this is just one of those unfortunate situations.”

White admitted both parties had been drinking before the incident and said he had little to no recollection of it until seeing the video.

“There was definitely a lot of alcohol involved, but that’s no excuse,” he said. “I literally am making no excuses for this at all.” It’s never happened before. It’s the first time that it’s ever happened, and people are going to say what they’re going to say.

“My wife and I have apologized to each other. We’ve apologized to our kids, and this is one of those things where everybody is going to chime in. I could care less what anybody else thinks about this. Right now what we’re more concerned about are our kids and taking care of our family. That was the beginning of it and the end of it.”

In addition to his role with the UFC, White is the public face of the ownership group of the Power Slap League, featuring competitors slapping each other with no defense allowed. The first of eight Season 1 episodes is set to debut Jan. 11 on TBS.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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