During a recent Instagram Live, former Cincinnati Bengal star wide receiver Chad Johnson, known as Ochocinco, revealed a surprising piece of his personal history. In the reposted stream, Johnson told viewers that while he was a Santa Monica College student back in 1997, he worked as a stripper to make money living on his own in Los Angeles.
Johnson recorded the livestream while smoking in his parked car.
He began the video, “I used to strip at The Right Track. I used to be a dancer. I could tell you because we are family. In 1997, I was in LA. My mom was out there, but I really couldn’t live with my mama, so I had a place in Santa Monica. Sometimes, I was short on my light bill. Them candles, light em. I used to strip. I used to be a dancer. If anybody in the chat is from LA, that’s a little bit older. I used to strip at The Right Track. I bulls*** you not.”
He continued to detail the type of money he used to make and even pro tips on how to make it.
“I used to make about $2,500, $3,000 a night. Sometimes the night would be slow, and I couldn’t make it to work because I had football practice, [but] the key is, the key back then…Back then, you danced for the big women. The big women tip you good. You know, having $2,500, $3,000 back in 1997 as a little kid, you know how much money that is? Boy, I was making a killing.”
Wearing a bright orange sweatshirt and a pair of sunglasses, the 45 year old former wide receiver explained that his stage name was “Twix” because of how skinny he was back in the ’90s.
Johnson admitted that he felt comfortable talking about such a personal part of his history because he feels close to his supporters.
He expressed, “I can share this story with y’all now because we family and I just want you to know everything about me, so if s*** come up on Google or something, or somebody tries to expose me for being a stripper, I told you first.”
He clarified that he isn’t ashamed of his past despite the stigma that tends to float around stripping. He said, “S*** like that builds character man, like when you can’t pay your bills, you know you gotta improvise, and that’s what I did. It made me who I am today.”