WWE bosses cut ties with Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, last week (ends26Jul15) after he was hit with allegations he was caught on tape making racist remarks.

The scandal stemmed from the release of an eight-year-old audio tape said to feature the star using racial slurs while talking about his daughter's love life.

Wrestler-turned-actor Johnson has now waded into the row and voiced his disappointment in his longtime associate, but declared he doesn't believe Hogan to be racist.

Speaking at the HBO network's Television Critics Association's press tour in Beverly Hills, California on Thursday, Johnson told reporters, "I was pretty disappointed with what I heard... I've known Terry for a lot of years, and my dad helped train him in Florida in the '70s when he was breaking into the business. I come from a very long lineage of professional wrestlers. I had not known the man to be racist... It's funny, it's one of those things where I'm not justifying what he said... We've all talked trash, you know, especially in private. He said what he said, and he's paying the price."